Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Spring 2010


Published in Great Plains Research 20.1 (Spring 2010): 136.


Copyright 2010 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Used by permission.


This book focuses on how the adaptive management process is driving watershed-wide, science-based collaborative restoration efforts in the Everglades, the Platte River Basin, the California Bay-Delta, the Chesapeake Bay, and the Upper Mississippi River. The adaptive management process, driven by a federal mandates, is used in each restoration project to resolve scientific uncertainties as well as conflicts among diverse local stakeholders. All five case studies deal with the overarching issue of water quality and quantity. Restoring historic hydrologic regimes in areas where human developments have altered hydrology is the ecological goal of each of these projects. This conflict between consumptive water uses and the water needs of natural systems drives the majority of issues in all five studies.

Stakeholders came to realize the need to manage watershed ecosystems in order to achieve long-term success preserving individual species and restoring water quantity and quality. Piecemeal management efforts were not working. Though the adaptive management process is actuated by federal agencies, local stakeholders play major roles in decision making. This local input maintains and encourages trust in the process, as exemplified in the Platte River project.