5

CESI Science in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration

This chapter provides an assessment of Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative (CESI) science support for South Florida ecosystem restoration. The role of learning from research and the integration of scientific findings into the restoration process are emphasized. This chapter also discusses recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the CESI program and the broader need for improved coordination and integration of scientific research in the greater Everglades restoration. The C-111 project (see Chapter 1) is used to illustrate many of the CESI-related contributions to the overall restoration process.

The large scientific, engineering, and political uncertainties associated with a restoration project of the scope and complexity of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) are widely recognized by the plan 's scientists, engineers, and managers (NRC, in press):

In particular, the relationship between hydrological regime and ecosystem composition, structure and function remains somewhat hypothetical given the greatly reduced size and altered proportions and flow ways of the modern system and the degradation of water quality. Exogenous factors such as sea-level rise, continuing human development of southern Florida, the spread of invasive exotic species, and atmospheric mercury deposition may confound the best restoration designs. There is the added uncertainty associated with some of the proposed engineering solutions such as large-scale aquifer storage and retrieval, not to mention the uncertainty of project funding over its 30-year plus duration. Also some uncertainties can only be resolved by taking action—comprehension will always lag behind reality; action will inevitably have to be taken without full knowledge of how the ecosystem will respond. Ecosystems are moving targets and interventions themselves will create change, which can only be understood in retrospect.

It is these uncertainties that necessitated that an adaptive management strategy for the restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem be embraced, leading Congress to require that an adaptive management approach be the foundation of the CERP in the Water Resources Development of Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000). As noted in Chapter 2, the CESI program was originally funded to provide science support for the Restudy, which later became the CERP. Consequently, any



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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE 5 CESI Science in the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Restoration This chapter provides an assessment of Critical Ecosystem Studies Initiative (CESI) science support for South Florida ecosystem restoration. The role of learning from research and the integration of scientific findings into the restoration process are emphasized. This chapter also discusses recommendations for increasing the effectiveness of the CESI program and the broader need for improved coordination and integration of scientific research in the greater Everglades restoration. The C-111 project (see Chapter 1) is used to illustrate many of the CESI-related contributions to the overall restoration process. The large scientific, engineering, and political uncertainties associated with a restoration project of the scope and complexity of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan (CERP) are widely recognized by the plan 's scientists, engineers, and managers (NRC, in press): In particular, the relationship between hydrological regime and ecosystem composition, structure and function remains somewhat hypothetical given the greatly reduced size and altered proportions and flow ways of the modern system and the degradation of water quality. Exogenous factors such as sea-level rise, continuing human development of southern Florida, the spread of invasive exotic species, and atmospheric mercury deposition may confound the best restoration designs. There is the added uncertainty associated with some of the proposed engineering solutions such as large-scale aquifer storage and retrieval, not to mention the uncertainty of project funding over its 30-year plus duration. Also some uncertainties can only be resolved by taking action—comprehension will always lag behind reality; action will inevitably have to be taken without full knowledge of how the ecosystem will respond. Ecosystems are moving targets and interventions themselves will create change, which can only be understood in retrospect. It is these uncertainties that necessitated that an adaptive management strategy for the restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem be embraced, leading Congress to require that an adaptive management approach be the foundation of the CERP in the Water Resources Development of Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000). As noted in Chapter 2, the CESI program was originally funded to provide science support for the Restudy, which later became the CERP. Consequently, any

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE evaluation of the CESI science program must be done with an adaptive management approach in mind. Adaptive management fundamentally is learning in the midst of doing and is central to the CERP, as the restoration plan is an outline of activities that will be filled in with details as experience informs subsequent steps. Just as adaptive management is dependent upon integration of scientific knowledge into the ongoing processes of project planning, evaluation, construction, and operation, continual research and synthesis are integral to adaptive management. Given an unknown future, restoration will require a research framework that continues to develop an understanding of the ever-changing dynamics between environment and society and between the ecosystem and hydrological processes. This will require a continuous cycle of not just monitoring and experimentation, but also regular and frequent synthesis of the findings. Monitoring, experimentation, and synthesis together can increase the reliability of current knowledge, address information gaps and surprises, provide new knowledge to understand emerging as well as old problems, and speed up the process of adaptive management (Holling et al., 1998). Walters and Holling (1990) describe three adaptive management approaches (Box 5–1): (1) trial-and-error, (2) active adaptive management, and (3) passive adaptive management. The CERP relies on a passive adaptive management approach (Aumen, 2001; Applebaum, 2002), although some have classified the Everglades restoration as “ecosystem management” (Harwell, 1998; Blumenthal and Jannick, 2000). Regardless of the specific adaptive management approach ultimately adopted for use in the CERP, the complexity and extended time for implementation of the restoration necessitates that the restoration management plan be founded on four critical elements (NRC, in press) 1: clear restoration goals sound conceptualization of the system effective processes for learning from future actions explicit feedback mechanisms for refining and improving management based on the learning process Science contributes to elements 1 and 4 and is the foundation upon which elements 2 and 3 are based. There is a long history of scientific input towards the identification of restoration goals and the conceptualization of ecosystem function. Effective processes for learning and for integration of learned knowledge into management (also termed feedback mechanisms) have proved to be more challenging. The following sections describe the role of science within this fundamental restoration management framework and evaluate the contributions of the CESI program to this process in South Florida. 1   It is important to note that successful application of an adaptive management framework requires more than just these four elements (e.g., collaborative working relationships, trust). These four elements, however, assure that the basis for adaptive management has been established.

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE Box 5–1 Three Approaches to Adaptive Management Walters and Holling (1990) define three approaches to adaptive management: The trial-and-error approach (also referred to as an evolutionary approach) is a set of haphazard choices early in the management plan with refinements being made later in the plan based on the subset of choices that yield the more desirable results. Active adaptive management uses the available data to construct a range of models that then are used to predict short-term and long-term ecosystem responses based on small- to large-scale “experiments.” The combined results of modeling and experimentation are used by policy makers to choose among alternative management schemes to identify the best management plan. Passive adaptive management is based on historical information that is used to construct a “best guess” model of the system response. The management choices are based on the model with the assumption that the model is a reliable reflection of the system response. Passive adaptive management looks at only one model of the system and monitors and adjusts, while active adaptive management considers a variety of alternative models. SCIENCE CONTRIBUTIONS TO DEFINING GOALS Formulation of the overarching goals and objectives of restoration is the province of policy makers, but science contributes to this process by helping to establish what constitutes realistic goals and objectives. In the case of the Restudy, the goals were to enhance ecological values and to enhance economic values and social well-being. The objectives associated with these goals are the following (SFWMD, 2002a): Enhance Ecological Values Increase the total spatial extent of natural areas Improve habitat and functional quality Improve native plant and animal species abundance and diversity Enhance Economic Values and Social Well-Being Increase availability of fresh water (agricultural/municipal and industrial) Reduce flood damages (agricultural/urban) Provide recreation and navigation opportunities Protect cultural and archaeological resources and values Numerous scientific investigations preceding and during the Restudy were used to conclude that achievement of these goals and objectives would require delivery of the right amount of water, of the right quality, to the right places, and at the right time (SFERTF, 2000). The CERP provides the cornerstone of the greater restoration effort, as the overarching goal of the CERP is to “Get the wa-

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE ter right.” Science will play a critical role in the restoration by determining the specific hydrological and ecological targets to ensure the “ water is right.” Although it may seem to be a straightforward objective, getting the water right is a difficult charge for such a large and complex ecosystem that has suffered extensive spatial losses and anthropogenic modification. Alterations to the natural system (e.g., soil loss, urban and agricultural development) have made it so that even if all the canals and structures were removed, the historic flow could not be restored. Thus, it is essential that the complex interrelationships between hydrological attributes and ecosystem function continue to be researched so that clear and achievable restoration objectives and targets can be established within the limits imposed by the physical realities of the current environment. CESI-funded projects have contributed to the identification of restoration targets primarily through the examination of historical data. For example, the CESI-funded project Analyzing Historical Data to Set Restoration Targets for Wading Bird Nesting in South Florida was instrumental in setting wading bird targets for the CERP Monitoring and Assessment Plan (USAGE, 2001). Other CESI-funded projects have had a similar effect on identifying restoration targets through direct experimentation and monitoring related to tree island evolution, animal population dynamics and distributions, exotic vegetation distribution and control, and water quality. SCIENCE AND CONCEPTUALIZATION OF ECOSYSTEMS Conceptualization of an ecosystem undergoing restoration represents a vital step in the restoration process. Conceptual descriptions of an ecosystem highlight the organization of major ecosystem components and create a framework for understanding the multicausal nature of ecosystem dynamics, including explanations of anthropogenic effects (see Appendix F). The conceptual models of the CERP's Monitoring and Assessment Plan (USAGE, 2001) are based on series of hypotheses that vary widely in the degree of uncertainty associated with the causal relationships, thereby identifying gaps in understanding and areas where additional research is needed. These conceptual models also establish a basis for selecting restoration performance measures. Additional value will be realized if the conceptual models are refined and model uncertainties reduced. Furthermore, development of simulation models that use the conceptual model assumptions as starting points would provide other valuable opportunities to examine uncertainties associated with restoration activities and management actions. CESI-funded science has contributed to the development of several of the CERP conceptual models (USAGE, 2001), particularly the Florida Bay, the Marl Prairie & Rocky Glades, and the Mangrove Fringe models (e.g., Thayer et al., 1999; Boyer et al., 1999; Chen and Twilley, 1999; Lorenz, 1999, 2000; Ross et al., 2000; Trexler and Loftus, 2000; Turner et al., in press; Trexler et al., in press). The contributions span a wide range of topics, including individual population dynamics, food webs, climate, and landscape-scale vegetation dynamics, and they reflect a diversity of research approaches, such as modeling, analysis of historical monitoring data, and direct experimentation. Understandably, CESI-funded projects have played a lesser role in conceptual model development for

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE the physiographic regions outside Everglades National Park. Yet, CESI projects have been integral to the development of the systemwide conceptual model, and new research generated by the CESI program promises to provide additional valuable information for model refinement (John Ogden, SFWMD, personal communication, 2002). Continued support for research directly related to testing the conceptual models, and building upon the conceptual framework through simulation models is essential. Support for research that narrows the uncertainty associated with hypothesized ecosystem behavior will likely reduce the occurrence of unexpected ecosystem responses from restoration activities. These areas of high uncertainty represent important research gaps that the CESI program is poised to address. Regular reevaluation of all the models' hypotheses will provide an opportunity for synthesis and for generation of new knowledge on which to base management decisions. A ubiquitous challenge to understanding causes of environmental change is how to address both natural and social phenomena within a single explanatory framework (Little, 1999). To maximize the usefulness of the ecosystem conceptual models, it is essential that both anthropogenic and natural systems drivers be an integral part of the models. Research examining socioeconomic sustainability of the Everglades has been modest at best and, as a result, socioeconomic science has had little impact on restoration decision-making. Only two CESI studies have specifically addressed the direct relationships between the built and natural system. When systematic social science analysis is absent, managers are forced to ignore or guess the social impacts of their decisions or to rely on those members of the public who present testimony in public forums (Hanna, 2000). Neither is an ideal decision-making process. Research projects that aim to monitor and assess socioeconomic sustainability are needed. These relationships are too important to be ignored. LEARNING AS THE FOUNDATION FOR RESTORATION MANAGEMENT The CERP component of the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration effort relies on adaptive management and new learning to support development of project-specific details with time. For this approach to be effective, learning must be embedded in all phases of the restoration from planning, engineering design, and project construction to operation and management of the system. In addition to incorporating new knowledge about ecosystem processes into restoration activities and exploring emerging technologies, it will be necessary to distinguish ecosystem responses to management from responses to natural and anthropogenic environmental changes. The learning process must depend on a strategy that effectively combines experimental research, monitoring, and modeling with a high level of attention to data synthesis, information management, and periodic resynthesis of scientific information throughout the implementation and operational phases of the CERP (Box 5–2). Clearly, there is a critical need for science to guide the learning process that will accompany restoration.

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE BOX 5–2 Tools for Learning There are three main tools for embedding learning into long-term restoration projects (NRC, 1999b), such as the restoration project underway in the greater Everglades ecosystem: integrated assessment models long-range development scenarios regional information synthesis Integrated assessment models describe our current and evolving understanding of how the environmental-societal system works; thus, they enable society to redefine problems and to gain analytical insight, and they inform the decision-making process. More specifically, these models allow examination of uncertainties in the understanding of ecosystem processes and interconnections, and they allow the evaluation of the potential implications of these uncertainties for past and impending decisions (see Appendix F). Application of these models to assist in restoration decision making requires simplification to avoid having the models become so bogged down by details that analyses cannot produce usable results (Holling, 1978; NRC, 1999b). Long-range development scenarios provide a way to examine management options to determine how robust they are to potential surprises. Long-range development scenarios are not predictions of the future, nor are they mere projections from the present. Rather, they sketch alterative long-range visions of how the system could change given what is known about trends, uncertainties, and possible surprises. Long-range development scenarios also describe the pathways by which conditions might change. They make explicit the assumptions about values, lifestyles, and institutions and reveal the range of possible futures that should be contemplated. For example, in the South Florida restoration effort, development and population growth will influence water-supply needs, and long-range scenarios can help to bracket a range of possible outcomes, preparing the restoration planners for unanticipated changes. Given an unknown future and the long-term commitment to the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration, long-range development scenarios are a central component of adaptive management. There has been little emphasis in the CESI program or other South Florida research on detailed scientific evaluation of how various courses of management action (or inaction) might impact restoration efforts. Some CESI funding has gone to long-term modeling and ecological studies that are potentially useful in scenario development. Making long-range scenario testing a priority in the CESI program would encourage systematic explorations of uncertainties and their implications and would help in the identification of the management actions that are most likely to lead toward Everglades restoration.

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE Regional information synthesis involves developing an interdisciplinary, systemwide understanding of the major physical, biological, and social processes that affect the sustainability of the greater Everglades ecosystem. Several synthesis approaches that have been used to examine ecosystems in the past are applicable to the South Florida ecosystem. These include synthesis of descriptive data, correlations of ecological data with changes in environmental conditions, mechanistic models to make large-scale predictions, and a combination of these methods (Hobbie, 2000). Synthesis of descriptive data, the simplest form of synthesis, might involve descriptions of changes in the characteristics of ecosystems (e.g., organic matter accumulation) and in physical factors (e.g., hydroperiod) over time. Statistical correlations between biological responses and environmental factors may take the form of periphyton response to phosphorus loading. Integrated Geographic Information System databases are particularly useful for analyzing large, disparate datasets over time and space. Mechanistic simulation models could be used to predict a single process (e.g., rate of mercury methylation) or interrelated processes (e.g., wading bird nesting coupled with a hydrological model). Sophisticated models that combine simulation modeling with descriptive and correlative methods are also possible—e.g., the Everglades Landscape Model (www.sfwmd.gov/org/wrp/elm/), which combines hydrodynamics, nutrient transformations, and translocation with plant production and community composition responses. Each of these approaches offers opportunities to enhance our understanding of the complex interactions of the physical, chemical, and biological factors that characterize the greater Everglades ecosystem, ultimately facilitating South Florida restoration activities by reducing uncertainties about overall ecosystem response. Research, Monitoring, and Modeling as Part of Learning From its inception, the CESI program has supported learning that has value to restoration activities, including work to define the linkages between hydrology and ecology and efforts to develop and refine modeling tools for support of the restoration efforts. For example, the CESI program helped fund the development of the Dynamic Model for the Everglades Stormwater Treatment Areas, which is being used to assess the expected water-treatment performance of the detention ponds under construction on the eastern edge of Everglades National Park (Walker and Kadlec, 2002). Information gained from this model will assist restoration planners as they evaluate the need for additional water-treatment options. Research on aquatic communities in the Rocky Glades area and studies to delineate the relationship between water flow and aquatic species (e.g., invertebrates and fish) have provided insights that have helped to reshape the objectives of the C-111 restoration project (e.g., Trexler and Loftus, 2000; Acosta and Perry, in press; Chick and Trexler, in review). Although many CESI studies preceded CERP authorization, these studies and others like them have generated information that ultimately will contribute to the restoration knowledge base, particularly

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE with respect to the linkage between hydrology and populations of special concern (e.g., endangered and threatened species as well as keystone species). The Department of the Interior (DOI) is ultimately responsible for preserving federal lands and resources. In this light, DOI agencies must be able to adequately quantify ecosystem response to project design, operation, and management efforts once restoration projects begin operation. To support the DOI's future restoration responsibilities, 2 a strategic shift in the emphasis of the CESI program is planned, moving from experimental studies and model development to monitoring, model application, and environmental impact assessment. The proposed change in focus for setting CESI funding priorities is a concern. As the restoration progresses, there will be a critical need for studies that develop an understanding of the causes and consequences of unexpected ecosystem responses in order for adaptive management to be supported. Both monitoring and research are central to an adaptive management approach (Ehrlich and Daily, 1993) and require adequate financial and staffing resources. Synthesis as Part of Learning The complexity of ecosystems—the broad spatial extent, long response times, multiple scales, large number of components, and nonlinear system dynamics—creates a situation that requires a transdisciplinary approach to convert observational, experimental, and modeling results into knowledge. Synthesis is the process of accumulating, interpreting, and articulating scientific results, thereby converting them to knowledge or information. Synthesis must be a prominent feature of the scientific effort in any restoration activity to ensure that crucial scientific information will be available to support management decisions and policy formulation. A strong information synthesis capability supported by a well-designed information management system will make it possible to learn from interactions among restoration projects and across the entire South Florida ecosystem. Synthesis in complex multidisciplinary settings will reveal risks and uncertainties that must be understood so that appropriate resiliency will be incorporated into restoration plans. Synthesis is essential to the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration as it will enable ongoing learning when change is common and uncertainty is high. In the absence of synthesis, the restoration will become “data-rich but information-poor.” Restoration-wide synthesis presents challenges to information management and coordination, and it also poses difficult scientific questions, especially over multiple spatial and temporal scales. However, the long time and large spatial extent over which the restoration is occurring mandate that restoration synthesis be done at multiple scales. Systemwide synthesis is not simply a process of linear aggregation from small to large scales because the ecosystem attributes are not uniform or scale-invariant. Two central challenges faced by restoration scientists are to quantify events and processes that operate on more than one scale 2   DOI's concurrence, consultation, and reporting requirement responsibilities for the CERP are derived from “its stewardship role over federal lands and natural resources involved in the restoration” (USAGE, 2002b).

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE and to identify general procedures for aggregating (and disaggregating) data on different scales. While long, slow processes frequently “control small and fast ones, the latter occasionally ‘revolt' to affect the former” (Holling, 1996). Clearly, a mechanism for accomplishing ecosystem-wide synthesis must be created that seeks a good multidisciplinary balance of senior scientists with adequate time to devote to ecosystem-wide synthetic activities. Such a mechanism must also offer the independence necessary to most effectively synthesize the findings of research and integrate that knowledge into the restoration decision-making process. Regardless of who is responsible for synthesis, the science can not be integrated into the restoration if synthesis does not occur. In order to address this critical gap in synthesis, priority must be given to fostering an interdisciplinary, systemwide understanding of the major physical, biological, and social processes that affect the sustainability of the greater Everglades ecosystem through review of existing scientific information. This effort will require sufficient staff to handle the complex coordination of data and also to integrate, synthesize, and communicate those results to restoration planners. Additionally, adequate support for synthesis requires a means of integrating massive amounts of data, including methods for accessing and archiving data. The importance of data management and the challenge that this represents must not be underestimated, and it requires immediate attention. One approach to synthesis could include an entity with the capability to accumulate past and future research and monitoring results from a broad array of sources while serving as a locus for enhancing understanding of the restoration impacts on the whole ecosystem. The CESI program could serve a significant role in such a coordinated initiative by providing data and by supporting the collaboration of investigators in restoration-wide synthesis efforts. Currently, synthesis to inform South Florida restoration decision making and management is lacking, especially at the large spatial and long temporal scales, even though there were strong synthesis efforts during the Restudy. The 1996 Science Subgroup report (SSG, 1996) provided key guidance for development of the CERP and the CESI research agenda, but the unifying focus provided by that report has since dissipated. The current lack of focus on synthesis largely seems to stem from the accelerated restoration schedule, but synthesis has also been limited by inadequate institutional support. At the level of the greater ecosystem restoration, inadequate support for the Science Coordination Team (SCT) (formerly the Science Subgroup) and its organizational obligation to advise the South Florida Ecosystem Restoration Task Force has hindered synthesis. Recent efforts toward synthesis have been made by the REstoration, Coordination, and VERification (RECOVER). The RECOVER Adaptive Assessment Team is currently refining an ecosystem-wide conceptual model as part of the CERP Monitoring and Assessment Plan (MAP). Although the systemwide model has lagged behind models for the nine major physiographic regions of the Everglades and continued refinement is needed, the system-wide conceptual model represents a valuable contribution to science synthesis. RECOVER also includes a Regional Evaluation Team that has been tasked with evaluating the effects of the restoration plans on the entire system (see Appendix D). The intellectual and organizational contributions of the Regional Evaluation Team toward science synthesis are still un-

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE der development, but the focus of RECOVER may not adequately address all restoration synthesis needs, since RECOVER is specifically designed to support CERP decision making. Although some important steps toward synthesis are currently underway, restoration scientists in general have been forced to respond to situations of immediate importance or threat rather than build a long-term, ecosystem-wide perspective. This might have the unfortunate effect of fostering continued exploitation of the natural ecosystem—an outcome that could potentially be avoided if broader synthesis were to be embraced. Few CESI-supported studies have taken synthetic approaches or have applied them at regional scales or across long time frames. A review of current CESI studies shows that the vast majority of the studies are disciplinary, autecological, or geographically limited, although there are several exceptions. The CESI program has funded several large ecological modeling studies designed to synthesize understanding of broad-scale ecological processes and population dynamics in the greater Everglades ecosystem, such as the Across Trophic Level System Simulation models. Progress on these models, however, has been slow, as the development of comprehensive, large-scale models supported by ecological fieldwork requires a large investment of resources and extensive data collection. Other CESI program efforts also have provided a foundation for synthesis through extensive funding of the Florida Bay Program Management Committee, the Greater Everglades Ecosystem Research conferences, and other topic-specific workshops. These multidisciplinary activities offer the opportunities for interaction and coordination necessary to stimulate synthesis. Within these conferences and workshops, there has been substantial effort and funding invested to summarize the results among investigators; however, there is little evidence of true synthesis. Examination of the CESI program's role in supporting C-111 project decision making also reveals shortfalls in support for regional synthesis of research findings. National Park Service (NPS) and Fish and Wildlife Service scientists have provided some level of information synthesis in support of their own land-management needs. However, the institutional structure to assimilate ongoing research findings with previous studies or to coordinate CESI science with complementary research underway at other agencies is weak. No central information management system exists to support information synthesis of South Florida's vast ecosystem monitoring and research data. The result is that land managers must currently make special efforts to seek out relevant CESI research, identify other related studies and their results, and interpret the findings to draw regional conclusions. Clearly, only the land managers most closely connected to the CESI research could begin to tackle this task. The CESI staff acknowledge this problem and hope to use part of the new CERP-designated funding to hire staff for NPS synthesis activities. However, synthesis is a restoration-wide need, requiring a more comprehensive solution. CESI funding has been proposed for several science information management and synthesis projects in 2003 (Appendix C). These efforts will be helpful in organizing the vast amounts of existing information, but without an effort to interpret both CESI-and non-CESI-funded research results into useful information for management, research may not be adequately considered in restoration deci-

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE sions. Until an improved restoration-wide mechanism for science synthesis is developed, the CESI program must bear the responsibility for synthesis of science within National Park Service lands and the wildlife refuges while working to ensure that this information is available for integration with other science programs across the greater Everglades ecosystem to support the restoration effort. INTEGRATION OF NEW KNOWLEDGE INTO RESTORATION EFFORTS Integration of the knowledge generated by synthesis into the ongoing processes of restoration planning, evaluation, construction, and operation will require effective communication and coordination among the restoration scientists, engineers, planners, and managers, who traditionally have operated in separate spheres. However, the complexity of the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration effort and the substantial uncertainty regarding ecosystem response to hydrological change necessitate feedback throughout the process. As new research findings are gained, that information will need to be communicated effectively to planners and managers to ensure the highest chances of achieving restoration objectives. Likewise, design, planning, or management questions that emerge during the restoration may require additional research studies. In response to new understanding about ecosystem processes, it may be necessary to alter project designs or change the operations to ensure attainment of the restoration goals. The continuous cycle of feedback from research, monitoring, data analysis, and synthesis is recognition that the application of scientific information to restoration activities must be an ongoing process in the effort to reach restoration objectives. CESI Contributions to Integration CESI projects have contributed useful scientific information to advise South Florida ecosystem restoration decision-making. For example, CESI research findings have contributed substantially to the recent planning of the C-111 project, providing important information on the linkages between hydrological and ecological attributes, described previously in this chapter. These contributions, however, were possible only because of the active involvement of DOI scientists in the project planning and design process (see Appendix G). The CESI program has been funded to provide the necessary science support for DOI's interests in the restoration, but the program is not responsible for bringing that science to the decision-making table. Nevertheless, science will be more likely to enter the planning and decision-making process if it is communicated broadly in an easily understandable and accessible manner. The CESI program has not been as successful in communicating the findings of CESI-funded research to the greater restoration community (see Chapter 2). The resulting lack of awareness of relevant CESI research may hinder the effectiveness of CESI science to support the restoration effort.

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE Barriers and Challenges to Integration Although examples exist of successful integration of research findings into restoration decision-making, the integration of science into the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration faces notable barriers and challenges. These include the accelerated timetables of the restoration, lack of adequate institutions, and cultural differences among scientists, engineers, planners, and managers. Accelerated Timetables of Restoration Arguably, the greatest barrier to the integration of science into restoration is the compressed timetable for the CERP and other restoration projects. Discrepancies in the time lines between the project design decisions and the generation, analysis, and synthesis of research results create broad tensions. These include tensions between broadly based and highly focused research strategies, between multidisciplinary and disciplinary research, and between generalizable and region-specific issues. Quality long-term, large-scale ecosystem research will be pressed to meet the time lines set for the restoration effort, and certain compromises between project design/construction and scientific knowledge will be required along the way. To inform restoration project design and implementation, research findings ideally should be available well in advance of the project planning. As the accelerated CERP time line continues to move forward, many CESI projects will not be able to produce results in advance of restoration design. Where critical science questions remain that could dramatically affect project design, one option would be to delay the engineering design phase and accelerate the necessary science. After all, scientific research represents an investment toward improving the likelihood of attaining the restoration goals, and design changes after construction can be costly and difficult. For example, the options for restoring flow across Tamiami Trail range from constructing a series of bridges and culverts along the highway to constructing an 11-mile skyway in order to permit unobstructed flow. Extensive investments in science are needed now to advise this decision-making, as there will be little inherent flexibility in the final product to allow for significant modifications after construction has begun. The recently announced delay in the start of the Water Conservation Area 3 Decompartmentalization and Sheet Flow Enhancement Project combined with the current legal delays in ModWaters may provide a window of opportunity for building a solid foundation of science to support Tamiami Trail planning decisions, if research investments are made quickly and wisely. A difficulty lies with deciding how much science is enough to proceed and when decision-making should be delayed. These decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis based on a careful evaluation of the risks of proceeding without specific scientific information versus the perceived benefits. Often this difficult risk-benefit evaluation is ignored so that project deadlines can be met. Inadequate early assessment of critical scientific issues ultimately tends to result in these concerns emerging later, causing lengthy project delays, interagency conflict, and much higher project costs. The C-111 project is one example where

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE planning has been difficult and delayed, because the original project objectives and design plans were not well-coordinated with the ecosystem science concerns (Appendix G). In all restoration projects, consideration should be given to developing pilot projects where possible in order to test the full-scale project design before construction begins, like the pilot projects currently being planned for the Aquifer Storage and Recovery project. Pilot projects represent an important opportunity to incorporate a component of active adaptive management into the restoration that could reduce long-term costs and significantly improve the impact of restoration projects. However, the recognition that it will not be possible to resolve all scientific uncertainties before the restoration construction commences is critical; thus, project designs must be sufficiently resilient to accommodate new research findings and allow sufficient operational changes after construction. Just as flexibility in engineering design is needed, scientists must also work to become more responsive to external time pressures for information and must be willing to adapt research studies to meet the identified information needs. New approaches to coordination among scientists, engineers, planners, and managers will be required to identify emerging and high-priority needs, to agree upon workable timetables, and to communicate the research findings after the results have been appropriately peer reviewed. CESI scientists will have to work closely with the CERP project delivery teams (PDT), the RECOVER teams, and the SCT to assure that CESI projects link directly to future restoration efforts and address the most pressing restoration science needs. The compressed timetable for the CERP and other restoration projects and the resulting lag in availability of research results relative to the start of restoration project planning (see Chapter 2) reiterate the necessity of developing an effective approach to adaptive management in the early stages of South Florida ecosystem restoration. This current lag in timing is true not only for CESI science, but also for science being conducted by other agencies in South Florida. Significant changes in the restoration program have occurred since the CESI program was first proposed. At the time the CESI program was proposed, the Restudy was scheduled to be completed in 2001. However, at the same time Congress approved the CESI program, it also targeted the Restudy for completion in 1999. This guaranteed that the disjunction between implementation schedules and the time needed to address scientific uncertainties would be in conflict, exacerbating the existing cultural tensions between restoration planners, engineers, and scientists. While additional CESI funding to support research, synthesis, and management needs can alleviate some of the timing issues affecting the availability of CESI science for integration, some reconsideration of the CERP schedule to address critical science issues may also be a prudent decision that could reduce total long-term restoration costs. Institutions to Support Integration “Institutions are the norms, expectations, and rules through which societies figure out what to do and organize themselves to get things done” (NRC,

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE 1999a).3 The lack of an effective institutional framework to support science integration and synthesis was noted as a problem in the environmental restoration of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon (NRC, 1996; see Box 5–3). A similar problem characterizes the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration, but coordination between scientists and restoration planners stands out as a particular concern. As important operational and design decisions become imminent, a formalized process for coordinating and involving scientific research in the restoration planning will be critical. The RECOVER team has been created to address these needs and “organize and apply scientific and technical information in ways that are most effective in supporting the objectives of the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan” (SFWMD, 2002b). The RECOVER has been organized into six interagency, interdisciplinary task teams and an overall leadership team (see Appendix D). The three chairs of each of these task teams include one representative from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps), the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD), and another agency with specific interest in the tasks assigned to the group. Other members of the teams are drawn from scientists actively involved with the CERP. At this point, a well-developed, formal process does not exist to assure that researchers are linked to the CERP project delivery teams and RECOVER task teams. Currently, there are insufficient numbers of DOI scientists to participate in the large number of CERP and RECOVER teams (56 project delivery teams and 6 RECOVER teams) as these scientists are overcommitted with their existing workloads and additional CERP responsibilities. Funding recently allocated to DOI for CERP-related projects, including funding for the hiring of many additional employees, will help reduce this problem, although continued attention is needed to ensure adequate involvement of researchers in the restoration planning and implementation process. Given the decades it will take for greater Everglades ecosystem restoration, it is critical that the CERP-designated funds recently allocated to the base operations of the U.S. Geological Survey, NPS, and Fish and Wildlife Service be continued. This will ensure that there is a continuous source of funds to support the involvement of the researchers and scientists necessary for full and complete integration of the restoration objectives of DOI with those of other agencies and programs. It is the panel's opinion that DOI may not have sufficient representation among the RECOVER team leadership commensurate with its interests and involvement in the restoration process. DOI, as the steward of federal lands, has primary responsibility for protecting and preserving a large portion of South Florida's natural ecosystem. The recent draft Programmatic Regulations also required DOI to report jointly to Congress every five years “concerning the benefits to the natural system” (USAGE, 2002b). As such, DOI must be integrally involved in the prioritization of research and monitoring activities, which are vital to assessing whether the restoration is meeting its ecological goals as well as ensuring compliance with federal mandates such as the Endangered Species Act. 3   Note that the term “institution” does not necessarily imply an agency or group of individuals. It also refers to the “the rules of the game in society” (North, 1990, cited in McCay, 2002) or societal rules and governance systems as well as societal patterns of behavior, norms, and values (McCay, 2002).

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE DOI also contributes a considerable portion of the scientific research and data collection related to the restoration—through the USGS, FWS, and NPS—and has invested heavily in science to support the restoration through the CESI program. Defining the exact mechanism of this increased leadership is beyond the scope of this study, but it is incumbent on Congress to consider how best to formalize a significant leadership role for DOI on the RECOVER while maintaining the broadest possible participation of other restoration stakeholders. Establishing a Collaborative Culture Restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem represents a bold collaboration of organizations with historically different cultures and goals, now gathered in a shared undertaking. The degree to which the myriad of federal, state, and private groups in South Florida need to coordinate, collaborate, and cooperate has never before been attempted. Such collaboration is inherently difficult. Cultural differences among agencies with unique missions can hinder the design and implementation of restoration at many levels. Lack of agreement on basic restoration goals has made many restoration projects more difficult and has led to failure in others. Consensus on broad restoration goals often masks disagreements over values, managerial style, and priorities —disagreements that can lead to conflicts over project design and operation. Even the definition of restoration success can be interpreted widely among various agencies according to their different missions and cultures. Collaboration, however, requires the existence of values that are held in common by all of the parties involved. In South Florida, there is a strong consensus that ecosystem restoration is needed, desirable, and beneficial to each participating group. Such a consensus is the first, crucial step in collaboration. Much of the difficulty in working cooperatively can be found in the next step of effective collaboration: merging divergent visions sufficiently so that each group agrees upon the same definition of restoration. Although it may appear simple, merging visions among different groups is difficult and can only be accomplished through an iterative process that takes time and patience. For example, among those involved in the South Florida restoration, some view restoration from the perspective of implementing projects that provide flood control and water supply in addition to restoration goals; others view the effort in the context of pursuing as full and as extensive a restoration scenario as possible while deemphasizing individual human services the restoration may provide. In this example, though the goal of restoration is the same, the visions behind that goal are still far apart. These visions can merge but will do so only after repeated discussions, negotiations, experiments, and debates. Sometimes, more formal facilitation may be required to find solutions where none seem apparent. Cultural differences among various groups (e.g., planners, engineers and natural scientists) form additional barriers to effective collaboration. Managers of the South Florida ecosystem restoration must recognize the inherent chal-

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE lenges of interagency and interdisciplinary cooperation and work to build a collaborative culture in support of the restoration goals. The RECOVER program is a response to this need and promises to utilize team-based guidance of project design and operation. However, this team-based process will only succeed if all participants (and their agency leaders) agree upon the restoration goals and are committed to working together to accomplish these goals. Disagreements will occur along the way, and formalized processes are needed to resolve these conflicts, such as the conflict-resolution process currently underway related to the C-111 project (Appendix G). A formalized process for conflict resolution would encourage full participation in the RECOVER process, assuring team members that their input will be fairly heard. Wodraska and Von Haam (1996) noted that in the history of the South Florida ecosystem restoration, ambitious conflict resolution efforts have offered the greatest hope for finding solutions that are at least partly amenable to all parties. The alternative to consensus building is litigation, a process that is slow and divisive. With litigation there are always winners and losers, which promulgates an increasingly antagonistic environment through which the parties involved in restoration must negotiate. ROLE OF THE CESI AND OTHER SCIENCE PROGRAMS IN THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION Congress intended for the CESI program to provide reliable scientific knowledge about the natural system and its potential response to management actions to inform the policy and planning decisions made during the feasibility phase of the Restudy (personal communication, Deborah Weatherly, House Appropriations Committee Staff, 2002). Over time, the CESI program developed a broader mission to meet DOI's restoration science needs, but at no time was the intent ever for CESI funds to meet all restoration science needs. Other agencies, such as the South Florida Water Management District, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and Environmental Protection Agency, contribute scientific research and monitoring to inform the restoration efforts. Other management structures, such as the RECOVER team, are tasked to identify priority science needs and advise restoration planning. The CESI program must work to coordinate with other agencies within this framework, while focusing on its own science priorities. Currently, no single entity adequately addresses the science management and coordination needs for the entire restoration. The RECOVER team is emerging as one of the potential leading science organizations in South Florida. Nevertheless, the RECOVER team's charge “to establish and maintain an effective link between science and the CERP” (SFWMD, 2002b) suggests a limited role, since the CERP currently represents only about half of the funds being spent on South Florida ecosystem restoration (see Figure 1–5). To facilitate comprehensive restoration science synthesis across the multiple restoration science programs currently in place, the broader restoration requires a single overarching entity to provide scientific vision and coordinate scientific efforts beyond the boundaries of RECOVER and the CESI program. Circumstances have changed significantly compared to those in place when the CESI program was authorized in 1997. Many non-CERP restoration projects

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE were well underway when the CESI program was created to support the feasibility phase of the Restudy, but the Water Resources Development Act of 2000 (WRDA 2000) affirmed the fast pace of the South Florida ecosystem restoration efforts. At the same time, WRDA 2000 altered the political and administrative environment within which the greater restoration process will proceed. The effect of these changes has been to redefine traditional agency roles to such an extent that a reexamination of DOI's role as a contributor to the greater restoration science is needed. The current CESI program provides a strategic framework for addressing critical DOI science needs. The value of a science program focused specifically on DOI's needs and responsibilities within the South Florida ecosystem restoration is great, since the CESI program is the principal vehicle by which the NPS and FWS can evaluate how restoration activities might impact Everglades National Park and other federal lands and resources in South Florida. However, critical challenges faced by the CESI program (including ecosystem-wide science synthesis, integration, and coordination) are shared by all agencies contributing to South Florida restoration science. These issues cannot be solved by the CESI program, nor by any of the other existing science programs, alone. South Florida restoration managers should consider the benefits of a central and independent restoration science entity that strives to inform the greater restoration effort (including the CERP, current non-CERP initiatives, and future restoration projects) with the best science available. Such a central science body could serve as a resource for scientific information, provide a mechanism for science coordination, and create a forum for visionary science synthesis. This entity should not have influence over, or responsibility for, restoration policy and decision making. Instead, it should serve as an impartial resource for scientific advice. The benefits of an external oversight and review board to provide unbiased advice and perspective to the body should not be overlooked. Furthermore, such a group would need substantial funding to leverage research to address priority science needs of the entire ecosystem, and to support science synthesis and the dissemination of scientific information to restoration decision makers. In light of the compressed restoration timetable and until some improved central mechanism for science synthesis and coordination is developed, the CESI program should strive to strengthen synthesis and dissemination, contributing as best as it can to these large and vital restoration needs. Restoring the greater Everglades ecosystem requires integration of massive amounts of information for a highly complex system. At the same time, planners must work to design restoration solutions despite limited understanding of cause-and-effect relationships and little experience with the efficacy of the proposed management actions. The initial restoration plan will include setbacks, as some implemented solutions will not yield the intended outcomes. Therefore, the restoration program should be designed with alternative plans clearly in mind and should be accompanied by pilot projects designed for learning, so that the plan can be modified and improved over time. The time frame for restoration is extraordinarily long (30 or more years for the restoration projects and perhaps more than a century for ecosystem response), so advice from scientists with steadfast purpose, continuity, and independence from changing policy im-

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE purpose, continuity, and independence from changing policy imperatives will be critical elements. Synthesis and integration are essential to enable management agencies to adapt to emerging knowledge, correct mistakes, and minimize waste of public funds. BOX 5–3 Potential Lessons for the CESI Program from the Grand Canyon There are remarkable parallels between the restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem and other complex environmental restoration projects. Similarities are particularly strong between restoration of the greater Everglades ecosystem and restoration efforts for the greater Yellowstone ecosystem, the CalFed project in north central California, the restoration of Chesapeake Bay, and the restoration of the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon (NRC, 1987, 1996, 2002d). The example of the Grand Canyon is described because of its implications for the conclusions of this report regarding the greater Everglades ecosystem. The restoration of the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park was brought about by mechanisms for environmental change similar to those in the Everglades. Economic growth stimulated the construction both of Glen Canyon Dam on the Colorado River and of water-control structures in South Florida. In South Florida, these hydrological changes rippled through the complex ecosystem, ultimately resulting in landscape changes, adjustments in vegetation, and degradation of the support for a variety of plants and animals, including the endangerment of several species such as the Cape Sable seaside sparrow and the Florida panther. In the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon, the hydrological changes produced impacts on the river landscape, adjustments in riparian vegetation, and extensive changes in the biological system, contributing to the endangerment of several species of fish and of the southwestern willow flycatcher. In both cases, the deleterious effects were well advanced before the impacts were observed and before remedial actions were sought. The two projects involve enormous complexity. In the case of Glen Canyon Dam, there is one very large facility to be managed, but the dam controls the entire flow of the Colorado River in the center of a watershed that is more than 200,000 square kilometers in extent, services more than 300 electrical utilities, controls water flows for distribution downstream to West Coast users, and directly affects 20 million people. The Everglades case is closer to a large metropolitan zone, and is a direct supplier of water to the human population of South Florida. The SFWMD uses a large number of structures to control an annual yield of water that is less than that controlled by Glen Canyon Dam. The two cases are therefore different from an engineering standpoint, but they are similar in their complexity and magnitude.

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE The institutional responses were also similar in the Grand Canyon and greater Everglades cases. Although the natural systems are components of national parks in both cases, the National Park Service (NPS) has only a partially controlling role in each case. For the Grand Canyon, the primary environmental research and restoration engine was Glen Canyon Environmental Studies (GCES) of the Bureau of Reclamation, later replaced by the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center (GCMRC) of the USGS. Like the Comprehensive Everglades Restoration Plan, the GCES and GCMRC were multiagency efforts to learn how the ecosystem operated and how to improve it. In both cases, the objective was to establish enabling hydrological conditions, and therein lay the conflicts between water management and restoration objectives. Vested interests in water supply and flood control must be balanced with restoration goals in the greater Everglades case, while vested interests in water supply and hydroelectric power generation were balanced with restoration in the Glen Canyon example. In both cases, restoration is not possible without some economic sacrifice by existing water users. In both cases, the larger context of institutions surrounding the restoration effort was complex. In the case of the Grand Canyon, the NPS held primary responsibility for the natural resource and administered some research, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) managed the largest share of the research, and the Bureau of Reclamation had facilities management responsibility and a primary role in the research centers. Additional powerful stakeholders included Native American tribes (Navajo, Hopi, and several others), regional power users, agricultural interests, environmental organizations, and cities that were water consumers (including San Diego and Phoenix). In the case of the greater Everglades, a similar context exists. The primary natural resource is on federal land, and the NPS conducts some of the scientific research while the USGS conducts a larger share. The SFWMD and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers control the facilities, with additional powerful stakeholders including Native American tribes (Miccosukee and Seminole), agricultural interests, and cities that are water consumers or that demand flood control (Miami and others in southeast Florida). The legal and management aspects of the Grand Canyon and Everglades cases are similar. In the Grand Canyon, concerns about national park landscapes and endangered species led to lawsuits designed to change water operations, with the objective of reversing environmental degradation. In 1992, the Grand Canyon Protection Act required the development of interim flow regulations on the operation of Glen Canyon Dam, operating rules that would be in effect until long-term solutions could be established. In the Everglades case, the 2002 Interim Operating Plan seeks to accomplish the same end in a different locale (USAGE, 2002a). Also, in both cases, adaptive management emerged as a long-term goal. Adaptive management cut its experimental teeth in the Grand Canyon case beginning in the late 1980s, so that by the early twenty-first century, adaptive management was a broadly accepted concept for South Florida restoration.

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE Management of science in both cases resulted in agreements for review by the National Research Council (NRC). In the case of the Grand Canyon, the NRC began its review in 1986 in response to a court order that the decisions of the Bureau of Reclamation in operating Glen Canyon Dam be guided by “good science.” A series of reports have emerged from this process (NRC 1987, 1991, 1996, 1999b). Concerned about the public 's investment in science for the greater Everglades ecosystem restoration, Congress mandated the present NRC review study. The fundamental issues facing the support and conduct of research in the restoration efforts are the same in both cases, so that solutions used in the Grand Canyon case may be instructive examples for the greater Everglades case. The following points identify the issues common to both cases and identify the solution put in practice for the Grand Canyon case along with its correlative potential solution for the greater Everglades case Inconsistent funding, loose agency agreements, and little competition for research contracts occurred in both projects. For the Grand Canyon, consistent funding for research was eventually drawn from power revenues, supplementing existing appropriations for science. Strengthened interagency agreements and a widened research contracting process also improved research. The emerging memorandum of understanding between NPS and USGS in the greater Everglades case offers some promise in this area, but improved solicitation of research proposals from a broader pool of workers is needed. Inconsistent research funding remains a problem in the Everglades. Inadequate synthesis and integration plagued both the GOES and the CESI program. Synthesis and integration of diverse research projects are critical to restoration success, but they have been the weakest link in the GCES and the CESI program. In response to NRC recommendations, the GCES mounted a significant effort to integrate research results by establishing an integration team of scientists (not managers) and by establishing a position of senior scientist in the project to facilitate the integration process. South Florida science would benefit from similar approaches. Inadequate coordination of ongoing science and inadequate usefulness of science research were issues in both cases. Scientists in some instances pursued their own research interests using GCES or CESI funding, without clear connections to the restoration objectives. This practice was curbed in the GCES by the installation of a senior scientist who improved coordination and acted as a “traffic police officer” for the projects that were funded. A similar approach might benefit the CESI program. Insufficient science integration into decision making occurred in the Grand Canyon and in the greater Everglades. Before the GCES, science did not adequately advise Glen Canyon Dam operations. Once initiated, however, GCES research results were generated, peer reviewed, and then considered in decisions

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SCIENCE AND THE GREATER EVERGLADES ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION: AN ASSESSMENT OF THE CRITICAL ECOSYSTEM STUDIES INITIATIVE about dam operation. Scientific information is currently guiding a series of experimental releases designed to better understand the impact of flows on the ecosystem and improve conditions for endangered fish species (CREDA, 2002). In the greater Everglades case, construction and operational management decisions have often come before completion of the scientific process or with little scientific guidance. Scientists do not make the management decisions in either the Grand Canyon or the Everglades case. In both examples, scientists do research and provide scientifically based advice in a general way, while operations managers make the decisions on how to operate the facilities. This arrangement, which is logical and is a legal necessity, implies that there is effective communication between researchers and decision makers so that managers can frame questions that are important to them while scientists can communicate their results in useful forms. Communication of science results is effective in the Grand Canyon case, less so in the greater Everglades case. The early GCES was specifically under the jurisdiction of the Bureau of Reclamation, the agency also responsible for the management and operation of the facility. The GCMRC is now under direction of the USGS and the Adaptive Management Program in general. While researchers from many agencies accomplished the research in the Grand Canyon, the results were funneled to managers through a single “portal.” This connection allowed for the development of a clear line of communication within a single agency, and it provided a single group of science interpreters who (in theory at least) coordinated results. In the greater Everglades example, several agencies conduct research and report results, but heretofore there has been no centralized process whereby connective lines to managers can be clearly established, and the integrative function is difficult to accomplish. In summary, the Glen Canyon Dam and the Everglades restoration cases have a number of important and revealing parallels. Although there are regional differences, the CESI program can benefit from lessons learned from the two decades of experience in the Grand Canyon. The importance of stable, adequate funding, the establishment of a science center led by a senior scientist, and an emphasis on integration of results are the most important transferable examples.