System-development matrix for adaptive management of coastal ecosystem restoration projects




Thom, R.M.

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Ecological performance of coastal habitat and ecosystem restoration projects is not yet predictable with great certainty. The simple method developed in this paper applies the principles of adaptive management to coastal ecosystem restoration to improve the ability to assess performance and make informed decisions on how to improve performance. The method uses a system-development matrix to assist in identifying the state of the system for which restorative actions were applied. The matrix defines development in terms of structure and function, but can accommodate other performance and development characteristics. Monitoring of the system provides input on the state of the system. Phrases in the matrix provide plausible explanations for the condition of the system and point toward possible actions to be taken. The matrix is applied using examples from community development on dredged material, a sea grass system and tidal marsh system. It is recommended that the matrix be developed by all interested parties during the planning phase. This group can then utilize the matrix for managing the project.


p. 219-232


coastal zone management, colonization, wetlands, estuaries, monitoring, wetland restoration