Application of “Best Available Science” in Ecosystem Restoration: Lessons Learned from Large-scale Restoration Efforts in the USA

Van Cleve, F.B., C. Simenstad, F. Goetz and T. Mumford

Publication Date:

Th e Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership (PSNP) proposes to restore degraded shoreline ecosystems of Puget Sound. To provide scientifi c direction for PSNP in its planning phase, the program’s Nearshore Science Team (NST) sought to more clearly defi ne the role and position of scientifi c input into large restoration programs such as PSNP. More specifi cally, the NST set out to clarify how science is incorporated into program management and organizational structure such that the “best available science” (BAS) is realized. Th e NST suggests that effi ciently and eff ectively using science as a foundation for making decisions will greatly improve a restoration program’s ability to successfully conceptualize, design, and implement large-scale restoration eff orts in the long term. To accomplish their objective, the NST conducted a “lessons learned” exercise to characterize the role of science in fi ve largescale restoration programs for more mature ecosystems beyond the Pacifi c Northwest: the Chesapeake Bay Program, the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, the California Bay–Delta Authority, the Glen Canyon Adaptive Management Program, and the Louisiana Coastal Areas Ecosystem Restoration Program. In spite of diffi culties encountered by these programs, the NST was encouraged by the numerous innovative approaches employed to meet the challenges inherent in large-scale restoration.

Resource Type:
Technical Document

Puget Sound Nearshore Partnership