Chesapeake Decisions logo featuring a circle composed of six segments in shades of blue and gray

What is ChesapeakeDecisions?

ChesapeakeDecisions is a tool that promotes transparency and guides the Chesapeake Bay Program’s Goal Implementation Teams (GITs) and Management Board members through the Strategy Review System; a structured process that applies adaptive management to our work toward the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement.

On this site, you will find:

  • Strategy Review System Overview: An overview of the Strategy Review System, including document instructions and the steps GITs will take to prepare for, participate in and act after their Quarterly Progress Meetings.
  • Document Status: The status of Strategy Review System documents, as well as when specific documents are due and submitted.
  • Management Decisions: The status of requests made by GITs to the Management Board and Principals’ Staff Committee, and other decisions related to deadline extensions.
  • FAQ: Frequently asked questions about the Strategy Review System.

Why did the Chesapeake Bay Program develop the Strategy Review System?

The Strategy Review System was created to help the Chesapeake Bay Program consistently apply adaptive management to its work toward achieving the outcomes of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Agreement. Following the adoption of the Watershed Agreement in 2014, Goal Implementation Teams developed Management Strategies to explain how the outcomes are to be accomplished and how the progress will be monitored, assessed and reported. The Strategy Review System is the iterative process of adaptively managing and implementing these Management Strategies and their long-term goals through short-term action. This process provides opportunities for input and promotes broad partnership learning which improves overall progress toward our commitments.

How does this relate to adaptive management?

Adaptive management is the decision-making framework adopted by the Principals’ Staff Committee (PSC) that allows us to make decisions in the face of uncertainty and to reduce this uncertainty over time. In applying adaptive management through our Strategy Review System process, we learn while doing: we take action, monitor results, assess our progress and adjust our efforts as needed. The Management Board adopted the Strategy Review System in November 2016 to help GITs and workgroups consistently apply this seven-step adaptive management framework to their work achieving the outcomes:

The steps of the Adaptive Management Process shown in a loop indicating an iterative, cyclical process.
  1. Set goals: Identify the specific outcome the GIT is working toward.
  2. Describe factors influencing goal attainment: Identify and prioritize all factors that influence progress toward the outcome. This step can help identify areas for collaboration across GITs.
  3. Assess current management efforts (and gaps): Identify gaps and overlaps in the existing management programs that address the important factors affecting outcome attainment.
  4. Develop management strategy: Outline the steps for achieving the outcome and coordinating actions among partners and stakeholders. The strategy is implemented in two-year increments.
  5. Develop monitoring program: Describe how the GIT will measure attainment of the outcome, the expected rate and trajectory of progress, and how effectiveness of the management actions will be determined.
  6. Assess performance: Compare actual progress toward achieving the outcome with the progress expected when the strategy was developed. Describe whether the short-term actions have filled the identified gaps as expected.
  7. Manage adaptively: Determine whether management approaches or actions need to change in the next two-year cycle, or other adaptations are needed to improve program performance.