over varying temporal and spatial scales. The CESI program, however, is only one component of a larger entity that includes many other science initiatives. The combined effect of these issues demand collaborative solutions to foster integration of research findings into South Florida restoration activities.

Recommendations:

  • CESI management should place increased emphasis on the synthesis and dissemination of research results.

  • A restoration-wide mechanism for science synthesis and integration should be developed, with appropriate staffing and resources. 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 major role in such a coordinated initiative by providing data and by supporting the collaboration of investigators in restoration-wide synthesis efforts.

  • South Florida restoration decision makers should increase up-front investments in critical science research that are likely to minimize total restoration costs. In addition to providing additional science funding support, restoration managers should also reevaluate the current restoration schedule in cases when critical science questions remain that could impact project design decisions beyond their inherent operational flexibility.

  • Adequate funds should be made available to hire the staff needed to communicate both CESI and non-CESI science findings to restoration planners, decision makers, and the RECOVER teams.

  • To support sound prioritization of research and monitoring activities for the South Florida restoration and provide leadership commensurate to DOI's interests and responsibilities in the restoration process, Congress should consider how best to formalize a significant role for DOI on the RECOVER while maintaining the broadest possible participation of other restoration stakeholders.



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