Thursday, Jul 26, 8:30 AM-5 PM

Adaptive Management for Water Infrastructure Workshop

Tulane River and Coastal Center
Getting there
1370 Port of New Orleans Place, New Orleans, LA

RSVP Deadline: July 20th, 2018 Restore the Mississippi River Delta (MRD) and ESSA Technologies, Ltd. invite you to participate in a workshop on the use of Adaptive Management (AM) for large-scale water resource infrastructure projects with applications for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion in the Mississippi River Delta. Background Louisiana is embarking on one of the largest restoration programs in the county, for which sediment diversions are critical to restoring and sustaining the coast. These large-scale ($1billion) water infrastructure projects will reconnect the Mississippi River to its floodplain and deliver the much-needed sediment, nutrients and freshwater to the degraded wetlands. These projects are essential to our future but will drastically change the dynamics of the present-day estuary to a more natural system. Louisiana is currently in the process of developing a draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the first of several planned sediment diversions, the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, meaning the time is ripe to explore how to create an AM plan for this and future diversions. Adaptive Management is a systematic decision-making process that seeks to improve management decisions in the face of uncertainties by using rigorous monitoring and evaluation methods to improve the effectiveness of management strategies in a continual learning process. For the purposes of this workshop, we use the definition of adaptive management as defined by Craig and Ruhl (2014):
“Adaptive management is a structured decision-making method, the core of which is a multi-step, iterative process for adjusting management measures to changing circumstances or new information about the effectiveness of prior measurements or the system being managed.” AM can be useful for large-scale projects that influence the natural and human environment at a landscape-scale in complex and uncertain ways, such as sediment diversions. Workshop Purpose This workshop will bring together a collection of experts for in-depth discussions on the application of AM for large-scale water resource infrastructure projects, using examples from around North America to provide insight and lessons for federal agency and state government employees, scientists and others working on the draft EIS and AM program for the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion. By providing a diversity of perspectives and experiences to local leaders involved in planning the Mid-Barataria Sediment Diversion, MRD hopes this workshop can act as a catalyst for AM development at a project-level specific to this diversion. Workshop Content In this workshop, experts will share challenges, solutions, and lessons learned on operationalizing and governing from a variety of model AM programs, including the California Bay Delta, Missouri River, Okanagan River in the Columbia Basin, and Platte River. Discussion topics will include topics ranging from methods to address scientific uncertainties and changing conditions involved with water resource projects to how to incorporate multiple objectives when managing complex social-ecological systems to how to develop effective governance structures that incorporate multiple agencies and user-groups. More detailed information and an agenda will be made available in the coming weeks. When and Where The workshop will be on Thursday, July 26th, 2018 in New Orleans, Louisiana, at the Tulane River and Coastal Center. Parking information will be made available in the coming weeks but please plan to carpool when possible. RSVP Required Space is limited for this workshop so please RSVP. If you would like to extend this invitation to other colleagues, please send an email to Grace Tucker at

Contact Us Feel free to call Natalie Peyronnin, EDF’s Science Policy Director, Mississippi River Delta, at 202-572-3282 (office), 225-302-5887 (cell) or if you have any questions or would like to discuss the content or purpose of the workshop. If you have any logistical questions, please reach out to Grace Tucker at or 202-572-3536. Citation: Craig, Robin Kundis and Ruhl, J. B., Designing Administrative Law for Adaptive Management (January 22, 2014). 67 Vanderbilt Law Review 1 (2014); Vanderbilt Public Law Research Paper No. 13-6; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 18. Available at SSRN: