should include hydrologic and ecological features for which improved prediction of response can lead to project modification that will improve the restoration outcome.
Formal linkages should be established to connect the RECOVER Senior Management Team and the Science Coordination Team to the Restoration Plan decision-makers to keep them informed of the changing state of knowledge, so that they can make decisions based on current scientific information.
Conclusion: In addition to serving adaptive management, the monitoring program must also serve compliance monitoring and report card functions.
The strategy of integrating, but differentiating, performance measures used for adaptive management, compliance monitoring, and the report card is a worthy one. The MAP should determine on a continuing basis the most effective ways of communicating and explaining scientific information to the decision makers and various stakeholders related to the restoration of the Everglades using adaptive management.
System-wide performance measures sensitive to restoration activity and associated with low uncertainty should be included in the report card. It is appropriate to use visible measures of interest to the public, such as abundance of endangered species, in the report card but these will not be sufficient to show positive progress toward restoration.
It is appropriate to include compliance monitoring in the adaptive management framework when the performance measures involved will be affected by the Restoration Plan. However, in other cases performance measures will be driven by other factors (e.g., populations of some endangered species), and monitoring of these should be clearly labeled as compliance in nature.
Conclusion: The overall design and funding of the Restoration Plan obviously requires adequate and continued support of long-term monitoring and scientific studies throughout the restoration. At this time funding of monitoring activities appears secure and ample. Still, funding is never unlimited, and it is therefore critical that Adaptive Assessment Team develop strategies for prioritizing monitoring needs of all kinds. This includes prioritizing the importance of the various ecological indicators. The Adaptive Assessment Team has done an excellent job of winnowing a large number of possible indicators and monitoring objectives down to a much smaller, but still substantial, subset.
The Adaptive Assessment Team should prioritize within this subset of monitoring objectives, and consider the relative utility of elements of the subset in meeting the several monitoring objectives (i.e., adaptive assessment, report card, and regulatory compliance).