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Partners in the Colorado River Delta have set ambitious goals to restore and conserve tens of thousands of acres of functional habitat across the region. This will require both the long-term stewardship of thousands of acres of existing or remnant habitat, and implementing almost thousands of new acres of restoration. To achieve this goal, the Delta partners need new tools to scale fundraising, restoration, stewardship, and adaptive management capacity to manage a hundred thousand habitat acres for decades.
Environmental Incentives developed the Colorado Delta Conservation Funding Framework to enable the Delta partners to scale and achieve the long-term financial and institutional sustainability necessary to support conservation success throughout the Delta – including water, restoration and stewardship needs. The framework will enable the partners in the Delta to 1) coordinate restoration efforts and demonstrate project-scale accomplishments in reportable units that inspire investment from donors, and 2) raise and manage long-term stewardship funds such that today’s restoration projects do not become tomorrow’s financial liabilities.
As recommended by the Framework, we also convened a group of Delta Science Advisors to define the Ecological Success Criteria for Riparian Habitats for the Lower Colorado River Delta. These criteria define habitat success and milestones to meet that success such that restoration efforts can be planned and adapted to contribute to the regional goals.
We are continuing to work with the Walton Family Foundation, Bonneville Environmental Foundation, and the Delta partners to test the Ecological Success Criteria monitoring framework to ensure our indicators appropriately measure habitat quality in the region. By improving the framework and designing a reporting template, the Delta restoration partners can broadcast their success in the region to stakeholder, partners, and current and future funders.