California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ecosystem Performance Measures

What are Performance Measures?

DFG survey crew

Performance Measures are used to translate program goals and objectives into measurable indicators of progress. They are a vital part of an adaptive management approach that provides useful information for decision makers to evaluate if a restoration action was successful in addressing goals and objectives. As restoration work and other actions are initiated in the ERP Focus Area, the ERP implementing agencies, in coordination with the Delta Science Program, Interagency Ecological Program, Department of Water Resources, and others, are developing performance measures and monitoring programs to gauge the effectiveness of the actions, so as to provide information feedback into the adaptive management process. This process is integral to meeting the co-equal goals of providing a more reliable water supply for California and protecting, restoring, and enhancing the Delta ecosystem as identified in the Delta Reform Act of 2009.

Performance measures typically fit into three categories:

  1. Administrative performance measures – summarize progress toward completing administrative actions and describe resources (e.g., funds, personnel, projects) focused on a particular subject.
  2. Driver performance measures – evaluate the factors that may be influencing outcomes and include tracking on-the-ground implementation of management actions (e.g., acres of habitat restored) and natural phenomena outside of management control (e.g., floods, earthquakes).
  3. Outcome performance measures – evaluate ecosystem responses to management actions and/or natural drivers.

The distinction between performance measure types is not rigid. For example, an outcome performance measure for one program objective may represent a driver performance measure for another program objective.

Links to previous efforts to develop performance measures:

CALFED Bay-Delta Program Performance Measures Report, Phase 1 Report, Final, October 23, 2007 (PDF)

ERP Conservation Strategy (PDF)

Delta Plan