Delta Independent Science Board's review of the BDCP's proposed governance structure lists several concerns

no valentineThis isn’t a sweetheart Valentine that the Delta Independent Science Board will be sending to the Bay Delta Conservation Plan if the Board approves the draft DISB report of the review of BDCP’s Chapter 7 governance structure, set for discussion at today’s science board meeting.

Prompted by a request by Delta Stewardship Council Chair Phil Isenberg to review the draft Chapter 7, the Board determined that the proposed administrative structure is “likely to yield further fragmentation in Delta science and decision-making. The proposed structure favors combat science over the collegiality and integration needed to address the complex and urgent task of implementing the coequal goals for the Delta.”

The Board’s draft report also recommends the BDCP rethink the adaptive management team, expressing their concern that a team consisting mostly of agency scientists in charge of adaptive management will likely have split loyalties, making any consensus unlikely.  The Board determined that the proposed guidelines as written in the draft Chapter 7 are unlikely to ensure science is incorporated into management decisions:  “Adaptive management is mostly about management, something defeated by its separation from management.”  The Board also notes that the draft Chapter does not appear to require that science guide decisions in the Delta, as Governor Brown and Secretary Salazar have committed to.

Other recommendations in the draft report include defining the kinds of decisions BDCP managers will make, defining the roles of science more clearly, and structuring science and monitoring for more independence from the BDCP.

The draft report states recommends that the BDCP utilize the developing Delta Science Plan as the platform for science and monitoring of adaptive management, writing:

Science and monitoring for BDCP need an independent platform to serve the public interest in the State’s waters and ecological heritage. Mere coordination with other Delta science programs will not be enough for BDCP science to rise above the tussle of stakeholder interests.

The Board encourages BDCP to work closely with the Delta Science Program toward DSP’s goal of “One Delta, one science” and encourages the Delta Stewardship Council to help facilitate this outcome.”

The draft report is scheduled to be discussed at today’s meeting of the Delta Independent Science Board.

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