Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Public engagement, not laws, found as key to success in implementing ecosystem-based management in watersheds including Chesapeake Bay - Kent State University, OH

OhioLINK ETD: Wilson, Gregory

Ecosystem-Based Management of the Lake Erie Ecosystem: A Survey-Based Approach to Assessment of Management Needs

Ecosystem size was negatively correlated with EBM success. For all ecosystems collectively, the correlation for EBM, positive outcomes and ecosystem condition with increasing ecosystem size was negative. Public engagement to involve diverse stakeholders was found to be a critical success factor to facilitate common understanding of ecosystem characteristics and challenges, generate political pressure and enhance environmental appreciation. There was no significance seen between the presence of a legislative mandate to implement collaborative ecosystem management and positive ecosystem outcomes at either the individual or collective ecosystem level. EBM implementation was positively correlated with positive ecosystem outcomes when the ecosystems were viewed both individually and collectively. This view was shared by all classes of respondents (by area of focus and type of organization) from the five ecosystems collectively. However, this was not true for the Lake Erie ecosystem. Only Watershed respondents (by area of focus) and Government/ Regulatory and Academic respondents (by type of organization) showed this result.

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