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U.S. Geological Survey Director's Workshop on Science for Natural Systems Restoration

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U.S. Geological Survey Director Chip Groat, in partnership with the University of New Orleans, convened a group of about 20 scientists and managers to meet for a day and one-half in New Orleans on September 21st and 22nd. The purpose was to explore the topic of using natural science and scientific understanding of complex natural systems in the design, implementation, and monitoring of ecosystem restoration activities. Participants were from the USGS (Ronnie Best, Milt Friend, Barry Gold, Chip Groat, Jan Hren, Kim Taylor, Jeff Williams), NPS, EPA, NOAA, as well as state agencies and academia.

A wide range of human activities has degraded complex ecosystems over the past several centuries. The public, as evidenced by high-profile projects underway nation-wide, deems restoration a high priority. Restoration projects include those in Chesapeake Bay, the Grand Canyon, Louisiana delta plain, Salton Sea, Massachusetts Bay/Boston Harbor, South Florida/Everglades, Mojave Desert, and the CALFED/San Francisco Bay delta. Providing the credible and objective scientific data and information needed to carry out these and other restoration projects effectively is recognized by the USGS and highlighted in the Bureau Strategic Plan, but the success record of integrating science into ongoing restoration efforts has been mixed.

The purpose of this workshop was to bring together selected science leaders as well as users of their science and discuss project details to learn what worked and what fell short. The objective was to develop some guiding principles for the design, implementation and effective use of science in ecosystem restoration programs. A series of short plenary presentations on several restoration projects, followed by two concurrent breakout sessions for discussion, were focused on three topical areas: knowing something needs to be done, deciding what is to be done, and learning from what is done. Much of the workshop planning was handled by Denise Reed, Professor at UNO, and Jan Hren, Chip's Science Advisor for Environment. They will be compiling a report detailing the findings and recommendations from the workshop.

Related Web Sites
Place-Based Studies Program
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Chesapeake Bay
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
South Florida
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
Mojave Desert
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)
San Francisco Bay
U.S. Geological Survey (USGS)

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