Adaptive Management Forum, Part 3: Challenges and lessons learned with adaptive management in the Bay-Delta

Maven’s Notebook –

Adaptive management is defined in the Delta Reform Act as “a framework and flexible decision making process for ongoing knowledge acquisition, monitoring, and evaluation leading to continuous improvements in management planning and implementation of a project to achieve specified objectives”.  Although the Delta Reform Act calls for adaptive management to be included in Delta restoration, implementation of adaptive management in the Delta is hampered by a variety of challenges.

At the Adaptive Management Forum, hosted by the Delta Science Program in February of 2019, a panel brought together managers of restoration projects underway in the Delta to discuss the challenges they are experiencing in implementing adaptive management in their projects.

The moderator for the panel was John Bourgeois who is with now Environmental Science Associates; previously, he served as Executive Project Manager for the South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project for 9 years.  The South Bay Salt Pond Restoration Project is a 50-year program to restore over 15,000 acres of former industrial salt ponds to tidal marshes.  The project is based on adaptive management with no set end point for what it will look like upon completion.

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