STOCKTON, Calif. - Representatives from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, San Joaquin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sen. Dianne Feinstein's office, the California State Assembly and other local districts met here Aug. 17 to discuss flood protection and water initiatives in San Joaquin County.

Organized by the San Joaquin County Flood Control and Water Conservation District, the event hosted Brig. Gen. Scott F. "Rock" Donahue, commander of the Corps' South Pacific Division, and included a tour of local flood protection projects in and around Stockton and other San Joaquin County cities. During the event, Donahue was briefed on current ongoing projects and studies in the county aimed at flood protection.

"Anytime I can get on the ground to get a better appreciation of what the Corps and our partners and stakeholders are dealing with," said Donahue, "it helps me to understand and convey those same messages."

Corps Sacramento District representatives also participated in the meeting, which was held at the Robert J. Cabral Agricultural Center.

Alicia Kirchner, chief of planning for the Sacramento District, was part of a Delta discussion panel, which fielded questions from the audience on flood protection issues in and around the California Bay Delta.

"We have a couple of feasibility studies underway," said Kirchner. "The Delta Islands and Levees Feasibility Study - being cost-shared currently with the State of California - and the Lower San Joaquin River Feasibility Study, which is looking at the Stockton area."

Joining Kirchner was Mike Mahoney, chief of construction operations for the Sacramento District, who took part in a levee discussion panel, and Michelle Williams, project manager for the Lower San Joaquin River Feasibility Study, who briefed on the study's evaluation and milestones. Following the meeting and discussion panels, a tour was provided to all attendees of ongoing and proposed projects in the county.

The tour included stops at the Stockton East Water District's Farmington Ground Water Recharge project; the proposed location of the Smith Canal project; Reclamation District 17's Department of Water Early Implementation Project; and Bypass/Eco-System Restoration at Paradise Cut.

The event provided an update on current water initiatives in the county to all attendees, "as well as building and enhancing the relationship with our local stakeholders," said Williams.