Restoration Program Organizational Structure
Participants in the Restoration Program's working groups are local, state and federal regulatory and resource agency managers and high-level staff with responsibilities for, or expertise in, wetlands and streams within the Program's geographic range. Experts from other agencies, non-governmental organizations, consultant firms, and academia participate in the technical review of projects and in the development of a regional wetlands monitoring program. Last but not least, members of the public provide input on wetlands issues to the Restoration Program. The Restoration Program is comprised of four main groups: Executive Council, the Coordinating Committee, and the Science Groups, which consist of the Design Review Group and the Monitoring Group. Each group has a unique role and set of responsibilities and communicates with the other groups regularly; some individuals participate on more than one group. The groups are described below.
The Executive Council is comprised of top-level administrators from local, state and federal agencies involved in wetland and
watershed management, regulation, planning, or research. The Council provides leadership, strategic direction, and support for
the Restoration Program. The Council:
- Maintains a forum by conducting regular meetings to exchange information about wetlands and associated habitat restoration projects and discuss, as necessary, any policies or practices that may be impeding project progress.
- Assures an informed focus on and participation in Bay Area wetlands restoration issues by top-level local, state and federal agency administrations.
- Provides administrative and policy direction to the Coordinating Committee and the Science Groups.
- Reviews reports prepared by the Coordinating Committee, the Science Groups and/or the Program Coordinator, and discusses and examines any appropriate changes in Program structure and activities.
- Shares information about adequate funding and staff resources to support the Restoration Program objectives.
The Coordianting Committee (originally named the Management Group) includes senior staff of the Executive Council agencies. Several Coordinating Committee members participated on the Bay Area Wetlands Planning Group and the Habitat Goals Project. The Coordinating Committee provides administrative support to the Restoration Program and works to identify obstacles to the timely development and authorization of ecologically appropriate habitat projects. When presented with an issue, the Coordinating Committee assesses a range of options for issue resolution and, if unable to resolve an obstacle, provides a recommended course of action to the Executive Council for Council consideration. The Coordinating Committee:
- Serves as a key coordinating body - or "filter" - for the Restoration Program; applies its collective expertise on agency practices and mandates to provide those who seeks assistance from the Program with a range of responses and/or suggest the interested party speak with the Executive Council, the Design Review Group or the Monitoring Group.
- Considers and discusses issues referred by the Science Groups, or as directed by the Executive Council. In doing this, the Coordinating Committee may:
- Gather sufficient information to fully understand the nature of the issue.
- Identify options for resolving the issue.
- Discuss the options with affected individuals in order to assist with resolution.
The primary purpose of the Science Groups is to advise the Executive Council and the Coordinating Committee on the scientific aspects of habitat restoration and recovery projects. The Group is comprised of two primary bodies:
The Design Review Group includes technical staff from the Executive Council agencies. It also includes experts from local government, special districts, non-governmental organizations, academia, and the private sector; these participants are selected through a formal procedure and are compensated for their participation. The primary purpose of the Design Review Group is to assist public and private entities to plan and design appropriate, high-quality habitat projects in keeping with the general concepts and recommendations in the Habitat Goals report. The group:
- Reviews plans for proposed habitat restoration and/or mitigation projects* and provides project proponents with feedback and potential suggestions for improving the habitat functions of the project and towards maintaining consistency with the goals outlined in the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report; on a project-by-project basis, the DRG may provide additional feedback as project design and planning progresses.
- At the request of the project proponent, identifies any policy issues that could impede the timely development and authorization of sound habitat projects, and refer them to the Coordinating Committee.
- Works with the Coordinating Committee and Monitoring Group to prepare any reports for the Executive Council and participate in compiling annual and biennial reports of the Restoration Program.
- Conducts periodic assessments of DRG progress and process both within the group and share this information with the Coordinating Committee.
- Working through the chairperson of the DRG, makes regular reports on DRG progress at Executive Council meetings and solicit comments and input on DRG activities from the Council.
* 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.
The Monitoring Group includes scientists from agencies, consulting firms, non-governmental agencies and academia. Incorporation of this group into the core structure of the Restoration Program serves to institutionalize informed project design review and help ensure the implementation of an "adaptive management" approach to regional wetlands recovery. The primary role of the Monitoring Group is to establish and manage a regional wetlands monitoring program that provides the basis for evaluating restoration and mitigation projects and which makes data available to the agencies and the public to better inform future restoration efforts. The group:
- Serves as a forum where information about wetlands monitoring in the region can be shared; the group assists in the development of and sharing of information about a regional wetlands monitoring program that provides the basis for evaluating the successes of restoration and mitigation projects.
- Supports the maintenance and expansion of standardized monitoring protocols and an active, online wetlands mapping project, which makes data available to the Restoration Program participants and the public to better inform future restoration efforts.
- Shares information with the Design Review Group and habitat project sponsors regarding appropriate monitoring for habitat projects, as requested, and explore the option of establishing Monitoring Plan Review Teams (similar to the DRG's Project Review Teams).
- Works with the Design Review Group and Coordinating Committee, as necessary, to prepare annual and biennial reports as well as any requested reports/briefings for the Executive Council.
- Working through the chairperson of the Monitoring Group, makes regular reports on Monitoring Group progress at Executive Council meetings and solicit comments and input on Monitoring Group activities from the Council