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It's time for bold new approaches to link delta science and policymaking

San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science

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Abstract

California’s Sacramento–San Joaquin Delta is widely recognized as a highly damaged ecosystem. The Delta is also emblematic of a growing sense worldwide that society needs to do a better job of using scientific knowledge to guide conservation and resource management policies. Fortunately, we now have an unprecedented opportunity to get it right in building structures that support effective science–policy linkages in the Delta. By adopting bold steps to implement a “one Delta, one science” approach for a new Delta Science Plan, California can become a leading example of how to tackle the global problem of rapid ecological change and biodiversity loss.


In this essay, we first describe the current paradox—continued environmental declines despite considerable investments in science and policy actions—and the high stakes of gambling with failure. Next, we explore why it is so hard to use scientific knowledge to design and implement policies that meet society’s sustainability goals. We then outline promising ways to overcome these obstacles, drawing on recent experiences. We conclude with thoughts on how to leverage this experience to develop a bold new approach to Delta science.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
It's time for bold new approaches to link delta science and policymaking
Series title:
San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science
Volume
11
Issue:
3
Year Published:
2013
Language:
English
Publisher:
John Muir Institute of the Environment
Publisher location:
Sacramento, CA
Contributing office(s):
National Research Program - Western Branch
Description:
7 p.
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
San Francisco Estuary and Watershed Science
Number of Pages:
7
Country:
United States
State:
California
Other Geospatial:
Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta