Latest On The Conservation Gateway

A well-managed and operational Conservation Gateway is in our future! Marketing, Conservation, and Science have partnered on a plan to rebuild the Gateway into the organization’s enterprise content management system (AEM), with a planned launch of a minimal viable product in late 2024. If you’re interested in learning more about the project, reach out to for more info!

Welcome to Conservation Gateway

The Gateway is for the conservation practitioner, scientist and decision-maker. Here we share the best and most up-to-date information we use to inform our work at The Nature Conservancy.

Adaptive Management of Environmental Flow Restoration in the Savannah River

Ward, J.M.; Meadows, A.W.

The Savannah River Basin is one of the nine sites for the Sustainable Rivers Project (SRP), a partnership between The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to more actively incorporate environmental flow objectives into the operation of dams and reservoirs to improve ecosystem health within the context of human demands for water. With the cooperation of over nine government agencies and academia, the Savannah has become a case study in science, adaptive management and measuring the success of an ecosystem wide experiment in environmental flow restoration. The Savannah River was used to develop the SRP study process where scientists conducted a comprehensive literature review to compile existing knowledge of the watershed, analyzed pre- and post-dam hydrology, and developed models of the system. Environmental flow requirements were then developed by a team of scientists and water managers, which serve as an initial set of hypotheses for experimentation. Environmental flow experiments have been implemented by USACE water managers in close collaboration with the SRP team. Resource agencies, TNC and academia are conducting monitoring programs to determine pre- and post-release conditions. Monitoring includes long term response variables to measure ecosystem response and ‘trigger’ variables that can give more immediate guidance to flow implementation. To date, over four controlled flooding experiments have been conducted spanning three years and the project has had measured success in terms of biological response, stakeholder education and participation, public education and outreach, increased funding support for the process, influence on water planning and policy, and lessons shared across the world.