Adaptive Management

Adaptive management is a science-based, structured approach to improving our understanding of the problems and uncertainties of environmental and water management. The Delta Science Program provides science support to other agencies and organizations that are planning and implementing adaptive management. Our objective is to support science that will improve environmental decision-making under uncertain conditions in the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta.

Adaptive Management Consultation

The Delta Science Program works directly with a number of federal, State, and local agencies that plan and implement ecosystem restoration and water management projects, and also works with partner agencies and NGOs on the development of tools and frameworks to aid adaptive management.

The Delta Science Program Adaptive Management Liaisons are available to consult with project proponents directly and provide advice on their adaptive management efforts.

Services of the adaptive management liaisons include:

  • Provide advice on the availability of models, regional monitoring activities, and relevant research;
  • Help with integrating individual adaptive management projects, plans, and programs across the Delta system;
  • Provide consultation on use of best available science and adaptive management with respect to Delta Plan consistency; and
  • Provide advice on potential active adaptive management experiments, including advice on potential funding avenues and on connections with other relevant research.

To get in touch with a Delta Science Program Adaptive Management Liaison, please email Karen Kayfetz at

Interagency Adaptive Management Coordination

The Interagency Adaptive Management Integration Team (IAMIT) is convened by the Delta Science Program to discuss and coordinate strategies for implementing adaptive management for Delta conservation efforts.

The IAMIT is made up of scientific and technical staff from local, State, and federal agencies, and key stakeholder groups. It serves as a technical team that provides input and guidance on current and future adaptive management at a high level that crosscuts individual agency missions. The IAMIT's activities are guided by the April 2019 Delta Conservation Adaptive Management Action Strategy.

Learn more about the IAMIT on its web page.


Save the date: The Delta Science Program will host a virtual Adapting Restoration for Changing Climate Symposium on February 2-3, 2022. Presentations and discussions will focus on cutting-edge, climate-adaptive strategies as we work towards a shared understanding of ecosystem restoration across the San Francisco Estuary watershed in the context of climate change. Attendance is free with registration.

The Delta Science Plan and the Delta Independent Science Board both call for regular Adaptive Management Forums to promote coordination and learning and foster discussions about implementing adaptive management in the Delta. In response, the Delta Science Program hosts biennial Adaptive Management Forums to provide an opportunity for the Delta community to share knowledge and promote collaboration on adaptive management of the system.

The goals of these forums are to:

  1. Synthesize lessons learned from prior ecosystem restoration and water management projects and research efforts;
  2. Foster information sharing about adaptive management;
  3. Strengthen science-management interactions by connecting decision-makers, practitioners, stakeholders, and scientists; and
  4. Stimulate dialogue around a shared vision of adaptive management.

To learn more about the 2019 and 2021 forums:


Please email us at