NOAA - Ecosystem Goal Team - To protect, restore and manage the use of coastal and ocean resources through an ecosystem approach to management
Adaptive Management - Routinely and systematically evaluate information, and in doing so monitor results and alter science and management strategies to achieve the desired ecosystem condition
Adaptive management is a well accepted concept within the resource management community that describes a way of managing the dynamic nature of ecosystems in the face of uncertainty. To be effective, adaptive management should be based on an open and mutually agreed upon process for monitoring and assessing the outcome of management actions, allowing for mid-course corrections along the way to achieve the desired outcome. This is accomplished through the use of credible models, decision-support tools, monitoring strategies, performance indicators, and the selection of target thresholds for action.
Adaptive management also takes into account socioeconomic considerations, stakeholder participation, conflict resolution, legal and policy barriers, and institutional challenges. Being adaptive requires people and institutions to be flexible, innovative, and highly responsive to new information and experiences. Adaptive management succeeds when there are clear linkages among information, actions, and results and a strong climate of trust among partners.
Considering external influences, factors, and stressors sets EAM apart as a holistic approach to management, as compared to single species or single issue management. In addition to looking at the broad range of influences within a region, we need to try to understand the impact of factors beyond our control. Considering local, state, federal, and international actions and sharing data are also critical to success.