Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program
San Francisco Bay Area
Wetlands Regional Monitoring Program

Design Review Group

One key, hands-on service the Restoration Program is able to provide is the assistance of its Design Review Group (DRG). The DRG is a panel composed of technical staff from local, state, and federal government, nonprofit organizations, academic institutions, and consulting firms. As a team, their goal is to assist project proponents in the proper planning and design of high-quality wetlands habitat projects. If you would like to submit your project to the DRG, please make sure that your project is located within the geographic scope of the DRG.

Steps in Submitting your Project for DRG Review

  1. Complete and Submit the Project Summary Form

  2. The DRG selects the Project for review

  3. A Design Review Team is assembled

  4. Scheduling and Project Presentation

  5. Question and Answer Session with the Design Review Team

  6. The Letter of Review

The first steps include (#1) completing the Project Summary form and submitting it to the DRG chair, Mike Monroe (415-972-3453). The (#2) group will then use that information to match their abilities to your project needs and, ultimately, to assess their ability to provide you with quality design feedback. If your project is selected, you will be asked to present your project at one of their upcoming monthly meetings. Depending upon the scale and nature of the project, the review process may require submittal of project-specific documents.

Following selection of the project, the Design Review Group chair works with the Program Coordinator (#3) to select reviewers on the Design Review Team.

The next step involves the (#4) project proponent working with the Program Coordinator to schedule the project presentation, where the project is detailed to a review team. Review teams typically consist of five or six members from a variety of habitat design-related backgrounds. Within the presentation, it is critical to put forth any and all specific questions to the group in order to optimally frame their feedback on the project.

Each presentation is followed by (#5) a round of question-and-answer and discussion among the presenter, the review team, and whomever else the project proponent might want to be present at the discussion (i.e., consultants who've worked on the project, members of the planning team, etc.). The review team uses this opportunity to ask key questions and clarify how best to provide feedback. Project proponents can expect that the presentation session will solicit general guidance on habitat needs and design, comments on restoration phasing from construction through monitoring, and, overall, feedback that will result in project designs that are more defensible during permit review.

Following the meeting, the information gleaned from the presentation and the question-and-answer session (#6) is distilled into recommendations and compiled in a Letter of Review. The Letter of Review is circulated as a draft among the review team, at which time the reviewers check the Letter for accuracy, add any recommendations that are not represented, and seek to ensure the project's consistency with the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report. The final Letter of Review - the end product - is usually complete 30 days following the initial presentation.

You can view completed Letters of Review.

The DRG is very conscious of the potential for conflicts of interest between project proponents and Design Review Team members. You can view the Conflict of Interest Statement.

For more information on any aspect of the DRG process, please contact Mike Monroe, DRG Chair, at (415) 972-3453.

Design Review Group Mitigation Policy

At its Spring/Summer 2003 meeting, the Restoration Program's Executive Council adopted a new policy on how the Program's Design Review Group (DRG) approaches the review of mitigation projects. As of June 10, 2003, and for an indefinite period of time, the DRG may only review a mitigation-based project when the project is referred by a reviewing permitting agency and when the project has a public sector proponent. Projects that do not include mitigation and are solely restoration in nature may come to the DRG at any time. The Executive Council will review and evaulate this policy and all of its effects on a continual basis.

Design Review Group / Wetlands Restoration Program Geographic Scope

Any wetlands project that is located within the Program's boundary, seen here, can be submitted for review by the Design Review Group.