Adaptive management is a systematic process for continually improving management policies and practices by learning from the outcomes of operational programs. Outcomes need to be science-based and
measurable. The Newport Bay Conservancy (NBC) has championed this approach to habitat and wildlife resource management at Upper Newport Bay (UNB) since 2001 when it facilitated the development of the UNB Management Coalition Cooperative Policy, which defined an ongoing process by which mutual goals will be defined, actions assigned and progress measured.
An outcome of the Cooperative Policy has been slow but steady progress towards the development of a Comprehensive Resource Management Program (CRMP) for the California Department of Fish and Game Ecological Reserve, the OC Parks Nature Preserve, and the City of Newport Beach open space at UNB. NBC has been cataloging the universe of information pertaining to the biology and water quality of UNB in order to establish the baseline data for the CRMP and expects to soon convene the initial stakeholder meetings to review its data gap report and determine next steps.
NBC has also worked to help incorporate adaptive management principles in the Central Orange County Integrated Regional Watershed Management Plan. To this end NBC has taken the initiative in establishing a holistic Desired State for the watershed with quantitative sustainable goals for water resources, flood protection, natural habitat, economic development, and quality of life.