Examination of Children’s Environmental Attitudes as a Function of
Participation in Environmental Education Programs
Everyone that uses water in any way should read this in its entirety, no
matter where they live. It is positively rife with reinventing
government on a global level, forsaking America’s Constitutional
Republic and even incorporating socialist measures and saying so, in
order to gain control of water. The report has the strangest page
numbering ever seen.)
but believed to be sometime in 2005.
National Sea Grant Library
of Rhode Island-Bay Campus
Rhode Island 02882
Sea Grant Program Links (excerpted)
Laing, University of Rhode Island
education is an important component of marine and coastal resource
management for creating awareness of environmental issues.
of marine resources will continue to be unsuccessful if the public
remains uneducated with little or no access to the issues and science
behind the policies. Through environmental education, communities may
become reinvigorated, therefore reinforcing the importance of a shared
education ensures that those who depend on the resource recognize not
only the economic value of the resource, but also become more aware of
how their actions may influence the environment.
education may sustain the community’s interest of its environment and
its resources, and promote responsible stewardship initiatives.
(1998) states that if society is to move toward the goal of greater
sustainability, there is an urgent need to effectively communicate
environmental knowledge to the public and to those operating in policy
arenas. Interactive environmental education is a method of bringing an
environmental awareness closer to the public where solutions may be put
to constructive and continuous use.
positive exposure to natural environments early in life may create a
lifelong desire to interact with these settings. A common recommendation
is that the tendency for a lack of awareness for stewardship over the
environment may be avoided by intervening at an early age with positive,
direct experiences of nature. Direct experience of nature may be a
critical component for developmental human psychology and morality, and
purpose of this research is to evaluate the role of environmental
education in enhancing children’s environmental awareness.
goals of environmental education involve the achievement of
environmental knowledge, awareness, responsibility (Athman and Monroe
2002), and motivation to take action (Kahn and Kellert 2002). Although
the research will not assess the development of children’s action
skills, it is an important consideration for future research. The
research proposes to examine the influence of environmental education on
children’s perceptions of the environment, and the degree to which
they interact with their natural settings, specifically with a focus on
children in the Cayman Islands.
Nature: Environmental Education and Children
education goes beyond the presentation of information to inspiring
positive attitudes toward the environment, and to enhancing the
capability for community action skills (Disinger and Monroe 1994;
Palmberg et al. 2000). Environmental knowledge involves the attainment
of a better understanding of the elements within the ecosystem and an
appreciation of the dynamic workings of this system (Smyth 1995).
awareness involves the process of making people conscious of how they
may affect their environment.
responsibility recognizes the ability of humans to evaluate alternatives
in the way they behave toward the environment and in the way they
influence and guide change.
education strives to encourage environmental values within society and
to create a framework for environmental conservation and protection.
January 2001, the “Marvelous Mangroves” program was introduced in
the Cayman Islands at a teacher’s workshop in Grand Cayman. This
resource guide was produced by Martin Keeley, the Mangrove Action
Project Education Director, to enhance educators’ knowledge and
ability to teach the significance of mangrove systems. Mr. Keeley
conducts the environmental program based on Cayman Brac.
program focuses on exploration of mangrove systems around the island,
but also allows children to become more aware of the ecosystems around
previously outlined, environmental education programs positively
impacting children’s attitudes, beliefs, and values concerning nature
can have a significant effect on the future of a nation’s natural
it is important to determine the extent to which the program in the
Cayman Islands has a positive impact on the children involved.
intention of this research paper is to evaluate the Mangrove program for
its effectiveness in enhancing the children’s environmental awareness,
knowledge and responsibility. The assessment of effects of the
environmental education program involves comparisons of outputs (changes
in children’s attitudes, beliefs, and values) with program objectives
as well as a description of inputs (program content and methods).
a means of assessing the effects of the environmental education,
children in an experimental group (those who participated in the
program) and a control group (those who did not participate) were
requested to evaluate statements concerning environmental knowledge and
potential human impacts on resources. The evaluation was conducted both
before and after participation in the environmental education program.
participants in the test group include 60 children in grade four who
attended the program in September 2003, and the control group consisted
of 23 children in a comparable group who did not attend the program
(ages 8 to 10). These children were given a pre-test through a survey in
the form of a written booklet in June 2003. They responded to the same
survey after the program was completed in September.
research instrument includes a series of questions (written survey in a
booklet format) for the children regarding current activities associated
with the ocean environment, perceptions of natural coastal resources,
significance of the health of the marine environment, personal
information, and outdoor activities.
were designed to measure achievement of stated program objectives as
well as environmental attitudes, beliefs, and values. A section of the
questionnaire also asked students to provide answers to open-ended
questions and during the post-test evaluation of this project, the
children were asked to express their beliefs and feelings about nature
by commenting on photographs of landscapes. They were asked to rank
these photographs regarding their perception of the most to the least
on Knowledge and Awareness
study is interested in both the knowledge acquired by the children and
the change in the children’s affective relationship with the natural
environment after participation in the Mangroves program. Results of the
present study indicate that children in the test group achieved an
increase in knowledge scores and a more positive awareness of human
impacts on marine resources. A paired sample t-test was used to evaluate
the change in knowledge of the individual child before and after
participation in the Mangrove program. Results show that scores for the
knowledge scale changed significantly more in the test group
(p<0.001) than in the control group. The children in the test group
also demonstrate a greater increase in the understanding of mangrove
functions and values after participation in the environmental education
program. Participation in the educational program affected girls and
boys differently regarding their perceptions and knowledge. Correlation
analysis also indicates that children who participate in a wide range of
outdoor activities also have a better awareness of the importance of
qualitative analysis concerning children’s actions skills and
perception of the future of the environment suggests that there is a
stronger feeling about the ability to positively impact the environment
through choice and education after participation in the Mangrove
program. Many children demonstrated a strong empathetic reaction to
nature and ability to express feelings toward impacting the environment.
A strong community may be formed around mutual need, sharing, cooperation, and an established level of practical experience (Orr 2002:289). Relationships and identity of self may often be an extension from identity of community; “most people can relate the details of the spot and tell stories from their places that surprise even themselves with their remarkable clarity and nuance and the deep affection aroused” (Pyle 2002:306). This reverence for nature may flourish
good communities with supportive teachers and parents or adults -- good
communities being places where bonds are created between people and the
natural world and between people. This bond may then create patterns of
responsibility, mutual need and respect, and interconnectedness.
communities may encourage participation and experience in the natural
setting that may allow a child’s awareness and concern for the
environment to flourish and grow.
integration of environmental education -- particularly in coastal and
marine resource management -- may be viewed as a proactive approach to
increasing the awareness of human impacts on the environment, problems
may be prevented rather than continuing the reactive approach that is so
prevalent for current environmental concerns.
is especially relevant for children today, as for most issues they will
need a strong understanding and sense of stewardship over the
environment if they are to successfully overcome the consequences of the
previous methods of environmental guardianship.
education is a tool for ensuring that community knowledge expands. If we
combine these elements into a holistic conservation framework we may
ensure that governance of marine ecosystems are better understood today
and for future generations.
J.A., and Monroe, M.C., 2002. Elements of Effective Environmental
Education Programs. School of Forest Resources and Conservation,
University of Florida. Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation. http://www.rbff.org/educational/BFE3.pdf
(March 14, 2003).
J. and M. Monroe, 1994. Defining environmental education (EE): EE
toolbox – workshop resource manual. Dubuque, IA: Kendall and Hunt
P.H., Jr., and Stephen R. Kellert (Eds.), 2002. Children and Nature:
Psychological, Sociocultural and Evolutionary Investigations. Cambridge:
J., 1998. Entering the century of the environment: A new social contract
for science: Science, v. 279, p. 491-497.
D.W., 2002. Political Economy and the Ecology of Childhood. In P.H.
Jr. and S. R. Kellert (Eds.), Children and Nature: Psychological,
Sociocultural and Evolutionary Investigations, pp. 279-304. Cambridge:
Irmeli E. and Kuru, Jari, 2000. Outdoor activities as a basis for
environmental responsibility. Journal of Environmental Education,
31(4), p. 32-37.
Robert M., 2002. Eden in a Vacant Lot. In P. H. Kahn Jr. and S.
R. Kellert (Eds.), Children and Nature: Psychological, Sociocultural and
Evolutionary Investigations, pp. 305-327. Cambridge: MIT Press.
John C., 1995. Environment and education: A view of a changing scene. Environmental
Education Research 1(1), p. 3-21.
of Marine Affairs
of Rhode Island
Development of a GIS-based Database of Coastal Bluff Erosion and Armor in California
Dare, California Coastal Commission, Mark J. Johnsson, California
bluffs back large portions of the California coastline and most of these
bluffs are actively eroding. This erosion threatens existing development
and creates a coastal management challenge in regulating the development
of existing legal bluff top lots.
facilitate informed management decision making, we are compiling all
existing data on coastal bluff erosion rates and current coastal
armoring into a Geographic Information System (GIS)-based coastal
management tool. This tool will enable policy makers to approach erosion
on a regional basis. The identification of historical long-term erosion
rates allows for informed policies regarding future bluff top
of short-term erosion events and their distribution allows better
analysis of threats to existing development. We are in the early
development stage of this database and have selected GIS as the most
useful way to organize existing data for coastal managers.
rate data sources include government studies, academic studies,
peer-reviewed publications, and reports of private consultants. These
disparate data sources vary in both collection methods and reliability.
Data that have been collected to date consist of erosion rates estimated
by means of anecdotal accounts, simple aerial photograph comparisons,
photogrammetric comparisons, digital photogrammetry, airborne and
ground-based laser scanning, and physical field data collection. We
currently are developing criteria for weighing these data in terms of
quality, time interval covered, and length of record.
these data, the GIS tool will allow the evaluation of both short-and
long-term erosion on a statewide basis. Some geographic locations have
one or more data sources presenting multiple erosion rates over
different time intervals. We plan to develop a filter with which the
user can examine the erosion rates of a selected geographic area over
various time intervals or to simply identify the time interval on which
an erosion rate is based. Short-term erosion rates capture the nature of
episodic erosion events. This type of data can be used to evaluate the
potential threat to development during a maximum erosion event.
Long-term erosion averages, on the other hand, do not capture individual
erosion events, but rather erosion trends over time. Long-term averages
can aid in determining site-specific development setbacks. The filter
will also enable the user to examine erosion rates that were collected
using a particular data collection method.
major challenge associated with the compilation of these bluff erosion
rate data is visual representation in the GIS. To facilitate accurate
analysis and data use, differences in erosion rate time intervals as
well as data collection methods ought to be easily discernible by the
user of this tool. In addition, erosion rates have been captured on
varying spatial scales ranging from individual points to averages over
long stretches of coastline. We have created a database in which the
erosion rate is associated with a geographic reference attribute that
can be represented in the GIS.
of shoreline armor structures on vertical photographs can be difficult
due to the low resolution and the small horizontal footprint of many
structures. On the other hand, oblique photographs, on which structures
are more obvious, are difficult to place in coordinate space, as
required for GIS applications. We will use both georectified aerial
photographs and oblique aerial photographs in tandem to overcome these
limitations. Existing coastal armor structures will be identified on
high-resolution oblique aerial photographs that are available on the
California Coastal Records Project website, an independently maintained
website housing oblique imagery of the entire California coast. We are
working to develop a computer-based interactive tool to capture the
geographic location of existing armoring by enabling simultaneous
viewing of an oblique aerial photograph with a corresponding
georectified vertical aerial photograph. The oblique aerial photograph
will allow easy identification of the armor structure, and the user will
be able to determine the location, in coordinate space, of the structure
by locating it on the georectified vertical aerial photograph. By using
the mouse to click on the location on the georectified photo, the
latitude and longitude of the structure will be captured electronically.
In addition, the user will be able to input additional attributes such
as structure type, material, and condition. We will capture these
attributes, along with location information, in a text file that can be
downloaded and transferred into the GIS.
addition to coastal armoring and bluff erosion, complementary layers
will be incorporated into the GIS allowing the user to locate and select
an area of interest of differing geographic scales. When zoomed to a
scale that is adequate for viewing, additional layers include county
boundaries, mosaiced vertical aerial photography and U.S. Geological
Survey Digital Ortho Quarter Quadrangles, roads, and parcel maps, when
available. Statewide datasets such
a geologic map of California and an attributed coastline will also be
integrated, providing additional information. The geologic map provides
locational information about major geologic units and faults. The
coastline is divided into segments based on the type of shoreline,
allowing the user to
whether a selected portion of coast is sandy, rocky, an inlet, bay, or
harbor, for example.
GIS is being developed with the goal of compatibility with existing
databases developed at the California Coastal Commission and elsewhere.
In particular, the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Joint
Management Plan Review has served as an incentive to strive for such
functional compatibility. The
coastal erosion and armoring database will be combined with databases
developed by Sanctuary staff and contractors containing nearshore hard
and soft bottom types and biological habitats. This will help Sanctuary
staff assess the susceptibility of nearshore resources to erosion,
resulting in prioritization of resource protection areas, an important
part of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Coastal Armor Action
the coastal armoring and bluff erosion GIS will be available internally
to staff of the California Coastal Commission. When erosion rate layers
are coupled with the layers describing existing coastal armor,
Commission coastal planners can query the database to identify areas
that may be susceptible to future armoring requests. By anticipating
future requests before a crisis situation arises, more time is available
to consider alternative methods of shoreline protection. It will also
allow planners to take a regional rather than a case-by-case approach to
permit review, including the consideration of cumulative impacts. It
will allow for improvement of land use planning policies, especially
during the periodic review of Local Coastal Programs, the implementation
of the California Coastal Act at the local government level.
Technical staff of the Commission will also be able to evaluate
erosion rate data submitted in support of permit applications.
the GIS will be made available on the Internet by means of an Internet
Map Server. The web-based interface will serve as a simplified GIS in
which users with little or no GIS experience can query the data and
create maps to address specific planning problems. This tool will be
useful to local governments as land use planning entities and
decision-makers can identify erosion hazards, informing the adoption of
appropriate land use regulations and development setbacks, potentially
reducing future armoring requirements.
additions to the GIS will increase functionality even further. We
linking the armoring data layer to the California Coastal Commission
permit tracking database. This will serve as a tool to determine the
of permitted and unpermitted armoring structures. We also foresee
links to the California Coastal Records Project website high-resolution
allowing the user to make a virtual site visit by clicking on a map in
Fremont Street, Suite 2000
Francisco, CA 94105
Legislating Coastal Governance: Trends, Practices and Strategies in Coastal Law-making
Chircop, World Maritime University
law is a relatively new legal field straddling other areas of law,
namely environmental, private (torts, property), public (constitutional,
administrative, planning), natural resources (oil and gas, fisheries),
maritime and international law (law of the sea). Since the 1980s
numerous countries (including states or provinces in federal countries)
have adopted dedicated statutes as framework and tools for national or
local coastal management. These statutes frequently constitute attempts
at integrated coastal law-making and deserve scrutiny as important tools
for coastal management.
This paper is the result of a comparative law research project inventorying and analyzing coastal statutes and identifying trends in over forty countries. Statutes from different legal systems, including common law, civil law, socialist law and mixed legal systems are studied. The paper identifies trends in: (1) interpretation and implementation of integration; (2) application of the Rio principles of sustainable development; (3) the institutional framework for management, including lead roles and coordination; (4) degree of coordination with other statutes; (5) conflict management; (6) international issues, such as transboundary management matters with neighboring countries.
paper concludes with opportunities, constraints and options for legal
strategies in support of integrated coastal management.
Studies of State-level Marine Managed Area (MMA) Systems
Davis, University of South Carolina, John Lopez, NOAA/National Ocean
Order 13158 on Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) was issued on May 26, 2000.
The Executive Order called for the Departments of Commerce and Interior
to develop a national system of MPAs. In February of 2002, the Coastal
States Organization received a contract from the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) newly established National Marine
Protected Areas Center to develop a report characterizing state-level
“Marine Managed Area (MMA)” policies and programs, and to formulate
policy recommendations toward an improved, national system (see Davis et
al., 2003). One of the
report’s central findings was that state-level Marine Managed Area
systems exhibit a high level of complexity and diversity when compared
with federal MMA policies and programs. For example, resource
protections at the state level most often occur through single purpose,
“marine overlay zones,” rather than through comprehensive planning
areas. In addition, the types of protections afforded marine resources
at the state level differ significantly from those found at the federal
level. States often protect near shore marine resources by regulating
coastal developments and alterations, such as dredging/filling
operations, docks and marinas, and aquaculture facilities. This
follow-up report more closely examines MMA systems under state
jurisdiction, and documents the lessons learned by state managers
involved with their development and implementation.
Marine Managed Area systems were selected for this analysis based on
geographic representation, uniformity among sites,
availability/willingness of identified respondents, and general
characteristics. It was important to examine different types of MMA
systems to identify commonalities that exist regardless of the
socioeconomic and ecological conditions and priorities that the MMAs are
designed to address.
this reason, the selected systems included Oregon’s
Estuary Management Plans/Natural & Conservation Management Units, Washington’s
Aquatic Reserves, North Carolina’s
Primary and Secondary Nursery Areas, California’s
Channel Islands Marine Protected Areas, Michigan’s
Underwater Preserves, and Florida’s
informal telephone interview was conducted with a state official
identified as having had primary responsibility for, and/or first-hand
experience with, each selected system.
Respondents were often recommended by other officials in their state.
averaged one and one-half hours in length. Following each interview,
respondents agreed to review and approve this draft report.
six state-level MMA systems selected for this case study analysis
reflect the diversity of area-based management approaches found at the
state and local levels nationwide. Three of the systems were developed
to restrict harmful coastal developments and alterations, one to protect
cultural resources, and two to manage fisheries. These goals are
reflected in the managing agencies, which included Oregon’s Land
Conservation and Development Commission, Washington’s Department of
Natural Resources, North Carolina’s Marine Fisheries Commission,
California’s Department of Fish and Game, Michigan’s Department of
Environmental Quality, and Florida’s Department of Environmental
Protection. Four of the systems were developed during the period between
1975 and 1982; California’s Channel Islands MPAs and Washington’s
Aquatic Reserves were developed over the five years preceding this
involvement was generally concentrated around the development stages of
each state MMA system. In two cases, special public planning processes
were developed specifically for the proposed system (California’s
“Marine Reserves Working Group; Washington’s Aquatic Reserves).
While public nominations of new sites are provided for in the enabling
legislation of each system, only half of the systems developed specific,
unique procedures for public site nominations. In the remaining cases,
new sites are treated as rule changes and therefore trigger standard
public notices, comment periods, and hearings. Permanent stakeholder
advisory groups or committees were not established for five of the six
systems. In California, a standing, regional working group with
stakeholder representation, and a plan to establish a local oversight
committee for the Channel Islands MPAs, are currently on hold due to
funding and staff constraints. In Michigan and Florida, nonprofit
citizen support organizations provide a foundation for ongoing
consistent “lesson learned” during the development of state MMA
systems was the importance of involving stakeholders early on in the
process. In particular, significant efforts were recently made in
California to involve stakeholders during the planning phase of the
Channel Islands Marine Protected Areas, and a number of additional
lessons were learned. First, a consensus approach may not always be the
best approach for controversial MMA systems.
was not achieved by the stakeholder advisory committee (“Marine
Reserves Working Group”). It may have been preferable to discern and
document stakeholder disagreements, and have the group develop a range
for consideration by the state.
Another lesson learned during this process was that numerous small meetings, where one or two state representatives work with fifteen to twenty stakeholders, can be far more effective than large, more anonymous public meetings when planning new MMA systems.
general goals of each MMA system generally focus on the conservation of
natural and cultural resources, including benthic habitats,
biodiversity, and fisheries. More specific, intermediate objectives were
not developed for any of the MMA systems; however, varying objectives
may be developed within site specific management plans for Oregon’s
estuarine management units and Washington’s Aquatic Reserves.
Measurable objectives, with specified
and indicators, had only been considered for the MMA systems in Oregon
and California. In Oregon, this was in response to a statewide mandate
for the development of performance measures for all programs and each of
the statewide planning goals. Measurable objectives and performance
measures were to be hierarchically linked with future budget requests.
In California, fishers contended that measurable objectives and
benchmarks were needed in order to reevaluate the success of the new MPA
system, but some scientists
Significant constraints were confronted in both cases, including: 1)
limited data availability; 2) the complexity of benchmarks that would
need to be set for a range of resources; 3) the variability of local
environmental conditions; 4) inadequate funding and staff support; 5)
unpredictable fluctuations in resource conditions; and 6) difficulties
in demonstrating linkages between MPA related management activities and
changes in resource conditions. In several of
other case studies, respondents indicated that measurable objectives and
benchmarks were not needed, because the general intent of the MMA system
was self-evident, and stakeholder support had been more than adequate
without quantitative proof of program success.
played a key role in the development phases of four of the MMA systems.
In these cases, comprehensive data were collected to support site
designations and boundary decisions. These data proved extremely
beneficial in reducing conflicts between stakeholders and disputes over
the scientific merit of the projects, and led to stronger stakeholder
support. However, in Florida, science was not the only rationale for
site designations – some areas with high development potential were
included in the system solely for the preservation of the natural
environment and aesthetics.
environmental monitoring programs exist for five of the six systems
studied (volunteer monitoring of shipwrecks occurs in Michigan’s
Underwater Preserves); however, there have been no attempts to use this
program evaluations, plan updates, or regulatory amendments. To do so
would require changes in current monitoring practices, since these
programs were in place prior to the establishment of the MMA systems and
are not presently designed to provide evidence of the spatial-temporal
outcomes of protected area policies. In Washington, it is anticipated
that future monitoring plans will be developed to complement
site-specific management plans, and that the
data will eventually be linked to measurable objectives for periodic
program evaluations and plan updates.
California, several scientists have expressed interest in modifying
their sampling designs to address the effects of the new MPA system. The
California Department of Fish and Game is attempting to develop unique
cooperative research arrangements with these scientists. For example,
the department can offer staff and vessel support to scientists in
exchange for consistent, summary data products that can be useful in
evaluating ecological trends.
unique to the California MPA system was the establishment of a
“Science Advisory Panel” (SAP) for the stakeholder-based “Marine
Reserves Working Group.” The SAP proved to be highly beneficial in
answering scientific questions that arose during the working group’s
discussions, especially with respect to siting issues. However, the
process generated controversy when the SAP was asked to generate a
“percent-coverage” value for an effective MPA network. The Channel
Islands MPAs are intended to provide an ecological network through
larval transport and habitat representation, and this became a point of
contention because potential “spillover” effects and larval
transport mechanisms are presently difficult to demonstrate
scientifically. Site “connectivity” is also a high priority for
Washington’s Aquatic Reserves program, and will be factored into
reviews of future site proposals.
all cases boundaries are marked on paper maps that are available to the
public. However, the boundaries generally do not follow suggested
“best management practices” for marine boundaries (Stein, 2003). For
example, half of the MMA systems use depth contours for boundaries,
which are difficult to map, can fluctuate with shifting sediments, and
are not as legally defensible. However,
boundaries have been digitized in four of the six cases for
incorporation into Geographic Information Systems and made available
online. In addition,
managers in California are working with industry partners to have marine
reserve boundaries integrated with digital, nautical charts and Global
Positioning System (GPS) units.
Oregon, Washington, and Florida, the state MMA systems are designed
primarily to restrict undesirable developments and alterations.
and alterations require local and state permits, and therefore illegal
activities are treated in the same manner as other permit violations.
state and local agencies, and nongovernmental organizations play a
critical role in reporting violations and countering proposals. In some
cases, no penalties for violations are specified by the legislature;
rather, the managing agency can force a violator to cease and desist
and/or remove a non-permitted development.
MMA systems studied in California and North Carolina are aimed at
fisheries management, but differ significantly in their enforcement
programs. In North Carolina, the Primary and Secondary Nursery Areas are
treated as any other fishery rule, and therefore the existing
enforcement staff conducts patrols and issues citations. In California,
an enforcement partnership is being developed between the state
Department of Fish and Game and three federal agencies. In addition, the
DFG uses a technologically advanced enforcement vessel and air
surveillance for enforcement of the Channel Islands marine reserves.
Enforcement is a key concern for this MPA system, where and
individual’s compliance may rely heavily on the perception that
sufficient enforcement exists to limit poaching by others [for a more
detailed examination of MPA enforcement issues in the Channel Islands
and nationwide, see Davis et al. (in prep.)].
six MMA systems utilize the Internet to convey information to the
public, and most respondents indicated that their websites appeared to
be of significant value in educating stakeholders. The sites were
considered most effective when digital maps of the site boundaries link
directly to corresponding regulations. In addition, brochures and other
printed materials were commonly distributed, but in some cases reprints
and distribution were limited by a lack of funding.
restoration, monitoring, and/or educational programs were also developed
in four of the six systems to increase public awareness and support.
“Living Waters – the Aquatic Preserves of Florida” educational
campaign was probably the most inventive and far-reaching of the
education/outreach activities, and involved a public television
documentary, calendar, and music CD based on a partnership with a
between local, state, and federal agencies is a critical aspect of the
MMA systems studied for this report. Most of the programs have
insufficient staff, funding, and jurisdiction over activities and/or
resources to address all of the threats to designated sites. In some
cases, coordination has been gained through the cross-designation of
sites between environmental programs.
example, a number of Aquatic Preserves in
Florida are cross-designated as Outstanding Resource Waters and Gulf
Ecological Management Sites (GEMS);
Primary Nursery Areas in North Carolina are cross-designated as “High Quality Waters” and Essential Fish Habitat under regional fishery management plans.
addition, a number of MMA systems rely heavily on volunteer
participation to assist with program activities.
state-level MMA systems examined in this report have all attained the
strong support of stakeholders, which in turn has led to sufficient
political support as well.
high levels of support are attributed to two key factors: 1) the early,
extensive, and inclusive nature of stakeholder participation in system
planning; and 2) strong scientific data that support site selections and
between and among local, state, and federal agencies, often through new
partnerships, was also considered essential to the success of these MMA
systems. In particular, state agencies may find that they can leverage
staff time and jurisdiction to gain the education/outreach, monitoring,
and/or enforcement capacities of other agencies.
the concept of ecological networks of MMAs is gaining momentum. MMA
systems that were established in the 1970s and 1980s were not as likely
to consider this
but could through site additions and/or standardized approaches with
other area-based management systems. Newer MMA systems are encountering
difficulties with the science needed to plan for and/or demonstrate site
connectivity. Additional research is needed in this area.
B.C., J. Lopez, and A. Finch. 2003. State Policies and Programs related
to Marine Managed Areas: Issues, Concerns, and Recommendations for a
National System. Coastal States Organization/National Marine Protected
B.C. and G. Moretti. In prep. MPA Enforcement Synthesis: Draft Report.
SC: Training and Technical Assistance Institute, National Marine
Protected Areas Center.
D. 2003. Tips for developing marine boundaries. MPA News 4(7): 5.
Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences
of South Carolina
No Net Loss for Washington State Shoreline Management
Fawell, School of Marine Affairs, University of Washington
concept of “no net loss” as an environmental protection policy is
most well known in association with United States wetlands management
but is also a goal in other environmental management arenas including
fish and wildlife habitat and eelgrass bed protection. The application
of the “no net loss” standard has grown as it presents a desirable
ideal of preventing further loss of natural resources to human
pressures, and at times striving for a net gain. One of its most recent
applications is in the new shoreline management guidelines adopted by
December of 2002 the Washington State Department of Ecology submitted
new draft shoreline management guidelines for formal rule making. These
rules were adopted in December of 2003. The Department of Ecology is
required by the Shoreline Management Act of 1971 (SMA) to provide the
guidelines to assist local governments in writing their required
Shoreline Master Programs (SMPs). These programs direct development
along the shorelines of the state’s lakes, rivers, streams and coasts,
with the broad goal of balancing economic development and environmental
of the most significant changes to the guidelines is the requirement for
local (SMPs)to rely on a policy of “no net loss of shoreline
ecological function” as the standard for environmental protection
(DOE, 2003). The new guidelines direct local governments to ensure “no
net loss” by including policies and regulations for mitigation of
ecological functions impaired through development otherwise allowed by
the Program (DOE, 2003). While the policy is now being written into the
Master Programs, it has yet to be tested at the local level and there
are still many details to be resolved.
The purpose of this paper is to examine the capability of state and local governments to successfully implement this policy. It is especially concerned with how no net loss can be achieved given the reliance on compensatory mitigation, the available scientific information on mitigation effectiveness and the restraints of the local level permitting process. The results of this study are scientifically informed recommendations for improving the likelihood of achieving no net loss.
Analytical Problem Diagnosis
problem of shoreline management can be diagnosed using the traditional
explanations for inefficient and inequitable allocations of goods.
Because shorelines can be rivalrous in consumption, nonexcludable in
ownership and use, and congestible, they may be classified as a public
good. The allocation of such public goods is a basis for market failure
and the cause of negative externalities (Weimer and Vining, 1999). In
seeking benefits from public goods, individuals will act in their own
best interest, tending to over-consume the nonmarket good and
under-invest in it. Each impact to the shoreline made for individual
benefit will make the public, as a whole, worse off by reducing their
allocation of shoreline access or of environmental services provided by
ecological function. The primary solutions for market failures, rules
and regulations and non-market supply have been applied to Washington
State shorelines through the adoption of the SMA which provides for
management of the shorelines as a public good under the public trust
doctrine. Non-market supply has also been applied through the provision
of this management by the state and local governments.
government intervention to correct market failure results in government
failure because of decentralization in how the Act is administered
(Weimer and Vining, 1999).
is easily diagnosed in this case through the distribution of authority
from the Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) at the federal level, to the
SMA at the state level, to the SMP at the local level.
the SMA was actually adopted before the CZMA, it was networked with
other existing state legislation to create Washington’s Coastal Zone
Management Program and is therefore now part of this decentralization
path. The primary benefit
of decentralization of allowing citizens to play a larger role in
decision-making can also be the largest problem because this open access
can hinder implementation.
discussing implementation, Bardach (1977) points out that a policy will
only be effective if the theory upon which it is based is correct and if
the essential policy elements are available and reliable. He illustrates
this principle by comparing policy implementation to the smooth
operation of a machine: the assembled machine will only run properly and
create the intended product if the plans it is built by are complete and
all the parts are present and properly working.
this paper, the implementation of the “no net loss of shoreline
ecological function” policy is examined. To determine ways that
implementation may be improved, both the theory the policy is based on
and the necessary elements for its operation are explored. The viability
of this concept is informed by the lessons learned from other “no net
loss” attempts and the scientific literature on assessing function.
The availability and functioning of two of the policy elements, the
permitting process and compensatory mitigation, are also studied.
Concepts behind the Policy
(1977) argues that “it is impossible to implement well a policy or
program that is defective in its basic theoretical conception.” Two
approaches have been taken to examine the theory behind the “no net
loss of shoreline ecological function” policy. The first is a study of
the intended meaning of “no net loss” both in the shoreline context
and in other arenas. The effectiveness of these other policies is also
observed to search for lessons to apply to implementation of the
shoreline policy. The second approach is a look at the scientific
understanding of our ability to identify “ecological function.”
proclamation of “no net loss” can be understood in two ways: either
at face value as a strict objective that rigidly structures decision
making, or as a conceptual goal that provides decision making guidance.
Other regulations that incorporate “no net loss” terminology tend to
treat it as the latter. Rylko (1991) presents the “no net loss”
policy of Section 404 of the Clean Water Act as recognition that a goal
of balance between economic development and environmental protection is
not sufficient. Instead, the policy provides a measurable means of
proving that balance is being achieved. Sweeney (1996) shows a similar
interpretation of the “no net loss” policy used for eelgrass habitat
in Washington State. “No net loss” is also a general goal in this
case and it is used to inform policy decisions.
Preliminary results on the effectiveness of other “no net loss” policies show that the goal has not been achieved. Of the five “no net loss” policies researched (United States wetlands acreage and function, Washington State wetlands acreage and function, Washington state eelgrass habitat, Washington State fish and shellfish habitat, Canadian fish habitat) no studies were found that reported a complete curtailment of loss. However, reports do indicate a reduction in loss over recent decades, especially for wetlands (NRC, 2001).
viability of the concept of the shoreline policy also rests on whether
or not shoreline ecological functions can be identified, categorized and
protected through permitting. The new shoreline management guidelines
require local governments to identify ecological functions based on a
list that includes hydrologic, vegetative, hyporheic and habitat
functions. Again preliminary review of the literature raises doubts.
Problems lie in the need to clearly define function (Goldstein, 1999;
Ehrenfeld, 2000) and to recognize that “relationships among ecosystem
functions are complex and not readily predictable or generalizable”
(Ehrenfeld, 2000). Approaches such as the hydrogeomorphic method used
for wetland functional assessment may translate for use with shorelines.
and Functioning of the Policy Elements
permitting process and its use of compensatory mitigation are two
existing policy elements from the implementation of the SMA that may
influence the implementation of the new “no net loss” policy.
Interviews with local level planners and permit offices will be used to
better understand how permit applications are prepared and reviewed and
what aspects of this process could interfere with the achievement of
“no net loss.” Restrictions on funding and manpower may hinder local
government’s capability to identify ecological function and protect it
The sequence of mitigation measures is relied on as a tool for balancing economic development with environmental protection and is therefore a primary component of “no net loss” efforts. The fifth step of the sequence, compensatory mitigation, has received the most attention in the literature and is the most controversial because it depends on remuneration through replacement, enhancement or substitution. Preliminary results from the literature on wetland mitigation show a less than 50% compliance rate with permit requirements, a net loss of wetland acreage, and either failure to replace function or inconclusive results on the replacement of function. It is difficult to see how it will be successful for replacing shoreline function, because compensatory mitigation has had varied levels of success at replacing wetland functions. A continued reliance on mitigation will allow for a continued loss of function.
to Bardach’s metaphor of successful policy implementation as a
conceptually well-founded and structurally complete machine, this study
finds that the “no net loss of shoreline ecological function” policy
may not run smoothly without some adjustments. The concept it is based
on may not be sound if ‘no net loss” has not been achieved in the
management of other natural resources and if the target of ecological
function is difficult for local governments to identify and categorize.
Two of the fundamental components of the machine, local level permitting
and compensatory mitigation, may also impede success because mitigation
for function has not been successful for wetlands, and permitting may
restrict decision-making. Suggestions for improvement will be presented
and may include lessons learned through the experiences of other “no
net loss” policies and recommendations for support to local
governments for identification of functions and mitigation requirements.
The exact details of how to implement the policy will need to be “muddled through.” It is recognized that there are many questions yet to be answered in implementing this policy but that a stronger goal than just balance is needed to ensure environmental protection. Introducing such a goal that does not have clear implementation steps and is in need of refinement during application is more beneficial than remaining with the status quo.
E. 1977. The Implementation Game: What Happens after a Bill Becomes a
Law. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Washington State Department of Ecology. 2003. Shoreline Master Program
Guidelines: Summary Comparison of Invalidated and Proposed Replacement
Guidelines WAC 173-26. Available from http://www.ecy.wa.gov/programs/sea/SMA/guidelines/downloads/summaryofchanges.pdf
Accessed 2003 February 25.
JG. 2000. Defining the Limits of
Restoration: the Need for Realistic Goals. Restoration Ecology
PZ. 1999. Functional Ecosystems and
Biodiversity Buzzwords. Conservation Biology 13(2):247-255.
K. 1993. Compass and Gyroscope: Integrating Science and Politics for the
Environment. Washington DC: Island Press. 243 p.
National Research Council. 2001. Compensating for wetland losses under
the Clean Water Act. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.
M. 1991. Whither Compensation? Using No Net Loss of Wetlands as the
Basis for Evaluating the Compensatory Mitigation Process Under Section
404 of the Clean Water Act: A Case Study of Washington State [thesis].
Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 65 p.
C. 1996. Eelgrass mitigation policy for overwater structures in
Washington State [thesis]. Seattle, WA: University of Washington. 52p.
JD, Tuden A. 1959. Strategies, Structures, and Processes of Organization
Decision. In Thompson JD, Hammond PB, Hawkes RW, Junker BH, Tuden A.
eds. 1959. Comparative Studies in Administration. Pittsburgh PA:
University of Pittsburgh Press. 224 p.
DL, Vining AR. 1999. Policy Analysis: Concepts and Practice. Upper
Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. 486 p.
of Marine Affairs
Brooklyn Avenue NE
Ocean Commissions Regional Breakout Session
Lee, University of Rhode Island Coastal Resources Center, Gib Chase,
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
discussion will focus on the need for integrated and ecosystem-based
ocean planning and management, a primary recommendation of the U.S.
Commission on Ocean Policy and the Pew Oceans Commission. Discussion
will also address the establishment of a regional ocean ecosystem
council for comprehensive and coordinated approach and new governance of
our Northeast region, as recommended by the two commissions. The topics
of importance would be a shared vision, coalition building, unified
management plan, and shared management objectives to protect shared
resources. Examples of regional initiatives will be presented and
follow-up discussion will be facilitated.
and Demographic Dimensions of Coastal Zone Land Use Changes
Tegger Kildow, California State University at Monterey Bay, Charles S.
Colgan, University of Southern Maine
coastal landscape is in transition. America’s traditional shoreside
industries of ship building and fishing are in decline; cottage
industries and quiet seaside cabins are being replaced by a booming
tourist industry, replete with hotels, restaurants, strip malls and
pavement replaces soils, and runoff, formerly absorbed into the land,
flows to the sea as toxic soup, beach closings frustrate the growing
number of tourists wanting to enjoy a sunny day at the shore.
is driving these changes? How can we manage them?
These land use changes in the coastal zone are driven by
important demographic and economic changes.
presentation examines changes in the thirty coastal and Great Lakes
states from 1990-2000 in three regions: the near shore, the coastal zone
(as defined for the CZMA) and coastal watersheds.
and housing changes are examined in light of Census data and employment
and output changes in each region are analyzed using new data derived
from employment and gross state product data.
total change and change associated with ocean-related economic activity
are examined and differing patterns of demographic and economic change
in coastal states are identified.
analysis will show differing patterns of population and economic growth
in the coastal zone with significant implications for land use patterns.
presentation will also present how improved economic information can
assist understanding of land use changes and their relationship to
Implementation of the Broad Creek Management Plan: Local Government Can Make a Difference
M. Cullen, Town of Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Town of Hilton Head Island is a large barrier island in the Atlantic
Ocean off the coast of southeastern South Carolina. The island is
bisected by Broad Creek, an eight-mile long tidal river that receives
stormwater runoff from 54% of the island. Town staff spent two years
researching and writing a management plan for Broad Creek to determine
how we could best initiate changes in land use and development practices
to improve the water quality of the creek and the environmental quality
of the ecosystem.
50 implementation strategies were identified that the town could
accomplish alone or in partnership with other organizations or agencies.
Since completion of the plan in 2001 we have begun nearly half of those.
In the process, we have identified issues where local government can
have a positive impact, issues where local government must work with
others, and a few issues where the political reality of the moment
prohibit us from implementing the recommendations.
Town of Hilton Head Island staff are involved in important projects to
the degree that we have been unable to devote adequate time to
implementation of the recommendations in this plan or many of the other
plans we have -- the comprehensive plan, open space and recreation plan,
beach management plan, etc. Having been incorporated in 1983 and facing
many significant challenges ever since, the lack of resources for
implementation is inevitable -- Hilton Head Island has done an excellent
job of planning for the future for a variety of issues, including
disaster recovery and redevelopment. Within a year or so the town should
be in the position to begin full-scale implementation of the
recommendations made in our various adopted plans, many of which are
To date, the greatest achievements in implementation of the Broad Creek Management Plan have come in the public education recommendations. Many of these initiatives have been completed, including the publication of seven brochures, two booklets, the design and installation of a public information kiosk at the public boat landing, and the creation of a web site which provides a summary of each chapter in the plan, an overview of the implementation strategies, and web based brochures. We have also made numerous presentations to the general public about the plan and the ecology of the creek, which have been well received.
a result of those efforts, we have found that the public, in general,
are more aware of the issues facing Broad Creek, and are more likely to
or behavior in regards to the creek. The local media has assisted in
this regard, publishing favorable articles and editorials on the local
waterways and the Broad Creek Management Plan in particular. A volunteer
based clean up event on the creek has received tremendous support, due
in part to the efforts the town has put forth in educating the public.
public education efforts recommended in the plan include working with
developers to encourage the use of community docks and to educate them
on stormwater management techniques that improve water quality. We also
plan to meet with the property owners’ associations of the
developments along the creek, to discuss the ramifications of allowing
larger and larger homes with less landscaping, particularly using native
species. Additional education initiatives include creating other
brochures, designing and installing more interpretative signage,
producing a self running CD-ROM slide show, and conducting seminars on
encouragement of property owners to preserve native vegetation and
buffers along the creek is also in the education realm. While it is
unlikely that extensive change will be made quickly, small incremental
improvements are a step in the right direction. As more property owners
understand the ramifications of their suburban landscaping techniques
and modify their own behavior, their neighbors may take notice and
hopefully learn from them.
of the implementation techniques that can be accomplished by the town
have been started but are not yet completed. One of these techniques
involves writing new land development regulations to require increased
removal of nutrients and pollutants from stormwater runoff prior to its
discharge into the receiving water body. These regulations will have
benefits island-wide and for all water bodies surrounding the island.
A map and database of the docks on Broad Creek was completed, and one of the management plan’s recommendations is to expand this to the other water bodies on Hilton Head Island. Due to unavailability of staff resources we have been unable to do this. We have, however, updated the dock database annually. This map is useful not only for efforts to improve the creek, but for public safety purposes as well and can be used for responding to on-the-water emergencies as well as water access for disaster recovery.
successful efforts deal with the development of town-owned property.
include two major drainage projects, which incorporate extensive best
management practices to improve the water quality of the stormwater.
One, which has won several state and national awards, has been
operational for several years. It includes created wetlands and a lake,
which has reduced flooding and reduced discharge nutrients, but has
increased fecal coliform due to an increase in wildlife usage. The
second project is under construction in 2004;
will discharge into the headwaters of Broad Creek and we expect to see
in water quality in that area as a result. Other enhancements made on
town property include use of native vegetation for nearly all
landscaping needs, and creating trails with interpretive signage to
provide public access to the creek along with public education.
have realized that a number of our recommendations are unlikely to be
implemented soon, due to the political winds that are currently blowing
in the town. No community is immune to this, and our approach is to
simply keep those recommendations on the books for future consideration.
While it may not be politically supportable to do something today, in
five years it may be not only acceptable but also intolerable to ignore
of these politically driven issues deals with the regulation of tidal
wetland buffers on single family lots. The town has resisted regulating
single family lots in any way, which stems from the development history
of the island – 75% of the land is within planned unit developments
(PUDs) where it was felt the PUD was doing an adequate job of regulating
development on single family lots. All land within the town is subject
to the town’s tidal wetland buffer requirements, but violations on
single family lots (which have increased in recent years) are largely
un-enforced. To address this, we have drafted amendments to the tidal
wetland buffer regulations to permit the creation of view windows. This
is an effort to provide a reasonable way for homeowners to get a view of
the creek or marshes without the temptation to cut down the entire
For the same reason, another recommendation is unlikely to be implemented in the near future – the preservation of specimen trees on single family lots. This is not intended to render any lot unbuildable, but in cases where such trees (primarily the largest live oaks) could be saved by adjustments to house design or encroachment of side, front, or rear setbacks, such design modifications would be required to preserve the tree. We are seeing a loss of such trees along the shoreline of the creek as ever-larger homes are built. The loss of these trees is a loss of wildlife habitat – not only for birds, but also small mammals, reptiles, and where these trees provide shade over the water or marsh, aquatic species as well.
of the management plan’s recommendations require the town to work with
other agencies or organizations. Among those is assisting the local
public service districts (PSDs) in their efforts to provide public sewer
service to the remaining areas of their districts, which are still
dependent on septic systems.
neighborhoods along the shoreline of Broad Creek are in desperate need
of an alternative to the existing septic systems. One neighborhood has
septic densities up to 5.8 systems per acre, an unheard of amount of
septic effluent even in the best of soils. Hilton Head’s soils, being
marine in origin, are not well suited for septic disposal. The town is
assisting the PSDs with master planning and grant research.
have also worked sporadically with the SC Department of Natural
Resources (DNR) on oyster restoration efforts, helping with reef
construction and securing a space for oyster shell collection for
recycling. This site is currently used for a solid waste collection
facility, but will be vacated in the summer of 2004. The site will
initially be used for shell collection only, but if that effort is
successful and is not a nuisance to nearby development, the site will be
expanded to include drying and decontamination, bagging, and storage of
the shells, so they will be ready for reef construction.
One project that the town started during work on the management plan has led us into a partnership with NOAA’s Coastal Services Center (CSC) and SC DNR. Field observation indicated that the number and extent of oyster beds we were observing was lower than what was depicted on DNR’s shellfish maps. This was not surprising given the age of the maps (20 years) and the degree of development that had occurred during that 20 year period.
felt it would be beneficial to obtain or create new shellfish maps,
partly to reassess the resource and partly to determine if there are
areas where we could correlate man’s activities (development and/or
stormwater outfalls) with significant reduction in the resource.
information could help us determine what actions we could take to reduce
those impacts, thus improving the conditions in these areas to allow for
healthier shellfish beds in the future. In addition, accurate maps and
correlation information will help us to identify potential restoration
began this mapping effort by doing our own on-the-ground mapping with a
GPS unit, which included detailed information on the shellfish beds.
While extremely accurate, this was a time consuming process and not a
technique we could use on the entire creek. DNR had been working on this
effort with us, and they and NOAA’s CSC invited us to participate in a
project to analyze various remote sensing techniques to create new
shellfish maps for the entire South Carolina coast. To date the
appropriate imagery and analysis techniques to create the polygons have
been identified, and collection of the imagery data has begun. It is
expected that data collection will be completed in 2004, with processing
and polygon creation scheduled for completion in 2005. It is anticipated
that detailed data on the shellfish beds will be added by field
reconnaissance only for specific areas where such information is
necessary for management of the resource.
town has been busy with redevelopment planning for several neighborhoods
on the island. One of these is in the southern part of the island, and
all of the stormwater from this area eventually discharges into Broad
Creek. This particular area contains the oldest commercial development
on the island, and has much higher levels of impervious surfaces and
much higher densities than is permitted in the current zoning ordinance.
In addition, the stormwater drainage
throughout the area was designed and built years before water quality
was a major concern, thus it did not include measures that are common
reducing pollutants from the stormwater runoff. This, we believe, is
contributing to higher pollutant loads than other areas of development
of the major efforts in the redevelopment planning is to improve the
quality of the stormwater runoff before it is discharged into Broad
Creek. We believe this can be accomplished through a combination of
using pervious materials for parking lots, sidewalks, and pathways;
using a shared stormwater management system which incorporates numerous
BMPs (best management practices, or specific stormwater facilities which
are designed to treat stormwater); and increasing the amount of green
space and native vegetation throughout the area.
While it will be many years before the redevelopment initiatives
result in substantial change, we believe that the incremental changes
that will take place will have a positive impact on the water quality of
summary, the creation of the Broad Creek Management Plan by the Town of
Hilton Head Island will undoubtedly lead to improved conditions in, on,
and along the creek. While the number of implementation strategies we
have completed to date is low, the benefit is high. More importantly,
the interconnectedness of this plan and other planning efforts in the
town is crucial to creating better conditions which will eventually lead
to improvements in Broad Creek.
organizations are political to some degree, and local government is no
exception. However, plans should not be designed to address only the
concerns of the political establishment at the moment, but should
include recommendations based on sound science. Eventually it may become
evident that such recommendations are in the best interest of the
community, and they will be implemented.
Any local government that has the resources to create a plan for the management of the coastal resources it impacts should strive to create that plan. Such plans should not be heavily influenced by the politics of the time since unpopular recommendations of today may very well be the prevailing ideas of tomorrow. In addition, local governments should not expect regional, state, or federal plans to identify the same implementation strategies that they themselves can, nor should they expect such larger agencies to implement recommendations made on a local level. In short, local government has a responsibility to help protect the coastal environment, and implementation of a management plan such as the Broad Creek Management Plan can go a long way towards that end.
M. Cullen, AICP
of Hilton Head Island
Town Center Court
Head Island, SC 29928
Surfrider Foundation 2004 State of the Beach Report
1999 the Surfrider Foundation, an international coastal environmental
organization, initiated its State of the Beach report to provide an
annual update on the status of our nation’s beaches. The fifth State
of the Beach report is being published this month and is available at http://www.surfrider.org/stateofthebeach
State of the Beach report is intended to be a measuring stick by which
local citizens, government officials, and coastal zone managers can
judge the health of their beaches. States that have “model programs”
are held up as examples to other states. The report now covers 22 states
and territories and evaluates the amount of readily-available
information and the status for nine “beach health indicators.” The
indicators are: (1) Beach Access, (2) Surf Zone Water Quality, (3) Beach
Erosion, (4) Beach Fill, (5) Shoreline Structures, (6) Erosion Response,
(7) Beach Ecology, (8) Surfing Areas, and (9) Web Site.
compile the information for the State of the Beach report, Surfrider
developed survey questionnaires for each beach health indicator and
distributed the surveys to state coastal zone managers. We also searched
(“surfed”) each state’s coastal management web site. All states
investigated had such a web site. As
there was a wide range in the amount of data available from the web
sites and also varying degrees of response from each state, Surfrider
contacted many of the state coastal management program offices via
telephone and/or e-mail to ask for additional information.
the availability of beach health indicator information is increasing,
Surfrider still finds relatively sparse information available on many
Beach Health Indicators. Overall, the results of this study point to the
need for more complete and more easily accessible information that can
be used to measure the status of our coastal environment. Not only will
this information help guide policy implementation, it will also provide
the public with a picture of the status of the condition of the
is a description of each of the beach health indicators developed and
evaluated by Surfrider Foundation:
Access is the public's ability to reach the ocean and includes the
facilities that improve access (such as parking lots, stairways, and
restrooms). Because the beach is a public resource and all people have a
right to enjoy the beach, access to it should not be limited.
is essential that beach access remains compatible with coastal
conservation goals so that public access does not negatively
the coastal environment. The public can improve their access to the
beach through awareness of beach access locations and by fighting
against any attempts to limit access.
Zone Water Quality is the level of pollution in the ocean and its effect
on recreational uses such as surfing or swimming.
Coastal outfalls, such as sewage pipelines and storm drains,
carry land-based pollutants to the ocean. Although beach water quality
monitoring efforts are underway in almost all coastal states, consistent
monitoring along with information on outfall locations can improve the
correlation between elevated pollutant levels and upstream sources of
Erosion decreases the width of dry beach. Gradual sea level rise is
causing beach erosion to occur naturally, however this erosion is
typically not problematic unless it interferes with human development.
In addition, many coastal development activities, such as damming rivers
or constructing shoreline structures that restrict the flow of sand,
often accelerate erosion processes. By having information on erosion
rates for a coastline, local citizens and their government can avoid
shortsighted development of erosion-prone coastal areas.
Fill projects, often called “beach nourishment” dump sand on a beach
to offset sand lost to erosion. Used as an alternative to shoreline
structures, this “soft stabilization” method is often costly and is
usually funded with taxpayer money at the federal, state, and local
many times the “life expectancy” of a beach fill project is
Shoreline Structures, also known as “armoring,” are attempts to protect homes and other development along the shoreline from beach erosion. Examples include groins, jetties, and seawalls. These structures often provide only short-term solutions and frequently have an adverse effect on the beach by fixing the shoreward extent of the beach normal or accelerated erosion continues, eventually resulting in loss of the beach.
Response is a measure of how well state policies and procedures limit
the extent of shoreline armoring. For example, are statewide oceanfront
construction setbacks used to site new development? When existing
development is damaged during a storm does a state prohibit
reconstruction or provide incentives for relocation? This indicator
intends to bring attention to the states that are taking a proactive
role in minimizing beach destruction.
Ecology recognizes that sandy beaches not only provide habitat for
numerous species of plants and animals, they also serve as breeding
grounds for many species that are not residential to the beach. Sandy
beaches are diverse and productive systems that serve as a critical link
between marine and terrestrial environments. Threats to healthy beach
ecology include erosion of
beach, which can negatively impact beach ecology by removing habitat.
Other threats to ecological systems at the beach include beach grooming
and other beach maintenance activities.
our attempts at beach restoration may disrupt the ecological health of
the beach by smothering natural habitat or influencing the reproductive
habits of species that utilize sandy beaches for these functions.
In the interest of promoting better monitoring of sandy
systems, the Surfrider Foundation would like to see the implementation
of a standardized methodology for assessing beach ecological health.
Areas are a valuable recreational resource. Shoreline armoring, loss of
access and degradation of water quality threaten surfing areas. By
creating an inventory (not a guide) of surfing areas that documents
their existence and use, the loss and degradation of surf breaks can be
tracked and prevented. Impacts to surfing areas can be considered as
part of environmental assessments and reports.
the use of computers and the Internet expands; websites are increasingly
becoming an excellent tool for the publication of and access to
information. The Internet provides an enormous wealth of data and can
also be a great educational resource for the general public. As long as
one has access to a computer and the Internet, the public can “surf”
the websites for information on beaches. Many state coastal management
agencies are utilizing the Internet to provide important information on
the health of our nation’s beaches as well as coastal zone management
goals, policies, and programs. To evaluate the quality of state coastal
management websites, the report uses the following criteria ease of use,
content and current information.
the 2004 State of the Beach report is Surfrider Foundation’s 5th
of the state of the nation’s beaches and the amount of information
available to gauge our beaches’ health, we felt that it was
appropriate to look back on our first report in 2000 and note the
differences in the scope of the report and in our major findings.
2000 State of the Beach report covered 16 states where Surfrider
Foundation had chapters.
2004 report covers 22 states and territories.
originally evaluated six beach health indicators; we now report on nine
first report was 63 pages long, only available in print.
current report consists of an approximately 50-page printed “executive
summary” and a much-expanded online version of the report that
represents over 500 pages of detailed information on each beach health
indicator for each state. The online report available at http://www.surfrider.org/stateofthebeach
expanded discussions on the report methodology and on each beach health
features include a “bad and rad” listing of facts
representative of threats to our nation's beaches and programs that are
working to protect our shores, a “perspectives” section that lets
our chapter representatives “sound off” about local issues of
concern, and a “for coastal zone managers” section that illustrates
examples of model coastal programs for each indicator.
with our multi-media approach for the report, in 2003 we included post
cards and stickers with our print report and “e-postcards” with our
online report. This year we have included a poster illustrating our
beach ecology theme.
of our primary themes and recommendations in each report has been to
increase the amount of information available on each beach health
information must be available to coastal zone managers so they can
develop effective programs and make informed decisions regarding
protecting our coastal resources. Likewise, the public needs this
information so that can participate in the process and make their own
table below shows the percentage of states that earned a “red”
(information doesn’t exist or is unavailable) score in our first
report versus those that were rated a grade of 1, 2, or 3 (out of 10) in
our latest report for information on each of the original beach health
red % red (1, 2 or 3)
Access 25 0
Zone Water Quality 31 9
Fill 37.5 18
Structures 48 32
Areas 87.5 71
biggest improvements have been for the beach access and surf zone water
quality indicators. All surveyed states now have at least some statewide
information on beach access.
passage of the “Beach Act” legislation in October 2000, all but one
surveyed state now has a beach water-quality monitoring program and
several states are expanding their programs. The indictors that still
have a paucity of statewide information are shoreline structures and
information on indicators such as coastal access and beach water quality
is becoming fairly widespread and obtainable through coastal web sites
and other sources, Surfrider still found relatively sparse information
for many of the other indicators covered by the State of the Beach
encountered numerous data gaps, especially in the areas of the number
of coastal outfalls, inventories of shoreline structures and recognition
of beach ecology (new indicator). In many cases we were told the data
does not exist. However, data gaps do not necessarily mean the
information is entirely absent -- it simply may not be easily obtainable
via the Internet or other recognized public information sources. Sparse
beach health indicator information is a warning that without better
information gathering or more stringent coastal policies, many of our
coastal resources are at risk.
results of this study point to the need for easily accessible
information -- information that can be found with relative ease over the
Internet or through state coastal management program offices. A more
stringent monitoring of beach health indicators is needed to ensure
long-term coastal management that provides healthy and accessible
beaches. Through this research, Surfrider Foundation made the following
conclusions on the state of the beach:
access is the strongest area of almost every state’s coastal
management program. All states had at least some statewide beach access
information. Unfortunately, most access guides do not illustrate gains
or losses in beach access to allow a tracking of progress.
states have published guides to beach access, with the California
Coastal Access Guide an example of one of the most thorough and complete
guides to state beach access. Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maryland,
Delaware, North Carolina, Michigan, Texas and Hawaii have
coastal access information.
general, beach access is plentiful on the West Coast. Along the East
beach access is severely limited in several states. The States with the
level of accessibility (shortest average distance between access
are California and Rhode Island with average distances of 1.9 and
miles between access points, respectively. Lateral access, or the
walk along the beach has been secured in most states; the notable
are Maine, Massachusetts, Delaware and Virginia where the
between high and low tide is considered private. Access issues in
have prompted Surfrider chapters there to draft a “Florida Open
Act,” which they hope to have considered by the legislature.
Zone Water Quality
general, it is difficult to collect information on water quality
monitoring results on a national basis. The Natural Resources Defense
Council puts out
comprehensive report summarizing beach closures in their annual Testing
the Waters report. With the passage and implementation of the BEACH
bill, monitoring and reporting programs are become more standardized and
monitoring program information and a current list of beaches with health
warnings are becoming more commonly accessible via state and county
is requiring electronic reporting of monitoring and beach closure
information beginning Spring 2004, which should facilitate evaluation of
the data by Surfrider Foundation and others.
is still little information available at the state level on the location
or number of storm drains or sewage outfalls. In most cases, this
information exists at the local level. Although this may be appropriate
for civil works projects, it is not optimal for solving statewide water
noted above, beach water quality monitoring standards, testing, and
public notification are becoming more consistent among coastal states.
However, there has been an overall trend toward more frequent beach
closures and health advisories during the past few years. This may
indicate an increase in water quality monitoring, changes in standards
for closures, increased storm events or an actual increase in polluted
waters. As monitoring programs become more standardized, it should be
possible to ascertain the reasons for trends in closures and advisories
and to develop strategies to lessen the frequency of these events.
is shifting from point sources of pollution to non-point sources
throughout the watersheds that drain to the coast. This is drawing
coastal residents and business owners into fray as education and
behavior change become more important elements in improving coastal
information is available on the location and number of structures built
on the beach. Although many states may have this information through
their permitting process, it appears that few states have inventoried
their shoreline structures.
many states have heavily armored coastlines, most states are moving away
from the use of hardened structures as the standard response to eroding
shorelines. At the very least, states are becoming more aware of the
long-term consequences of coastal armoring. Structures (such as seawalls
or groins) can protect homes and businesses, but have adverse effects on
the surrounding beach. By banning them or severely restricting their
use, North Carolina and South Carolina have led the charge against the
use of these potentially beach-damaging structures. Of course,
exceptions are still made under emergency clauses.
addition, there is evidence that homeowners often put structures in
place without permits under emergency conditions.
two states (California and Hawaii) have documented surfing areas in
published beach access guides. A comprehensive list of well-known surf
spots for many coastal states is available through Surfer
Magazine’s Surf Report. Numerous private company websites exists
in several states that document and give information about surfing
the West Coast of the United States, conditions of surfing areas range
from good to fair and there is a fair recognition of the value of
surfing areas. California, through permit conditions, has stated that
surfing areas are important recreation resources that deserve
protection. The main threat affecting surfing areas is water quality. On
the East Coast, surfing areas are in good to fair condition as well, but
beach access and beach fill (which can alter beach and profiles and
therefore alter surfing conditions) are major concerns.
states have numerous studies on shoreline change and erosion. Much of
this wealth of information is not readily accessible to the public. Even
when the information is available, the reports are often so obscured by
technical language and length (some up to 1,000 pages) that only a
select few individuals outside the target audience can glean meaningful
information from them. Without this important information, poor coastal
development and planning will continue along the coastline. It is
essential that the general public understand the dynamic and eroding
nature of the coastline so that beaches are not sacrificed to protect
the “front row” of homes along the coast.
few states have created “user-friendly” methods of distributing
available erosion data. Florida, for example, has an excellent web site
where areas that are designated as critically eroding are graphically
represented on a map of the state. A few other state coastal management
programs, such as Massachusetts, have long-term shoreline change/erosion
rate maps available to the public. Useful erosion information is also
available in Maine, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas
response to shoreline erosion, beach fill, often called “ beach
nourishment” has become the compromise between hardened structures and
outright retreat from the coastline for many states. In places like
Virginia Beach and Miami Beach, beach fill is a regular occurrence. In
these specific cases, the economic value of tourism far outweighs the
costs associated with fill. Unfortunately, there are often ecological
impacts associated with beach fill that are just being understood.
Delaware, Florida, Maryland, New Jersey, Virginia, Michigan, North Carolina and South Carolina provide relatively complete information on beach fill projects. The reports include location, cost to the state, and date projects are completed. Florida fill project information is available through the Florida State University web site. Often the information is available through U.S. Army Corps of Engineers web sites.
Carolina, South Carolina, Michigan
and Rhode Island have some of the most progressive programs on
erosion response. Typical elements of these programs include statewide
oceanfront construction setbacks used to site new development;
prohibiting reconstruction or providing incentives for relocation when
existing development is damaged during a storm; and requiring that there
is demonstrated need for shoreline stabilization via geo-technical
reports, that alternatives to armoring are fully explored, and that
potential adverse impacts and cumulative effects are taken into account
before permitting shoreline stabilization.
was very little readily obtainable information on this topic, or even
recognition of what the term meant in many states. Washington, Oregon
and Michigan are some of the states that seem to be ahead of the
curve in recognizing the importance of beach ecology and moving to
protect beaches for their value as habitat.
Carolina, Florida, Texas, Oregon
and Washington have excellent websites for their coastal zone
management programs. Rhode Island and Puerto Rico have
established coastal web sites since the first State of the Beach report
Island’s has improved dramatically.
was a wide range in rankings for our indicators between state coastal
programs, partially due to differences in federal funding. Under the
Coastal Zone Management Act, state programs receive funds based on
various factors, including population and length of coastline. However,
it is important for all coastal states to recognize the important
aesthetic and economic value of their beaches and set priorities to
guarantee the long-term health of their coastal zone.
proper monitoring of beach indicators, it is impossible to evaluate the
effectiveness of current coastal zone management policies.
each state program different priorities are set for different coastal
these recommendations may not apply to all states. However, states can
learn a great deal from the successes and shortcomings of other state
coastal management programs.
should make efforts to provide information on beach access to everyone.
Whether this is through a web site (North Carolina) or through a
published guidebook (California), the information should include
not only access locations but also recreational opportunities and
facilities at each location, especially public transportation, parking
and restrooms. These
could be used as a tool to track changes in the quantity and quality of
the extent allowed by law, states with limited beach access should make
attempts to open beaches to everyone and provide information to the
public on regions where access is available or unavailable.
access may be improved through collaborative efforts with local
Zone Water Quality
minimum states should adopt the water quality monitoring requirements of
the federal B.E.A.C.H. bill, which include standards, regular testing
and public notification of pollution as minimum standards. In areas
where known water quality problems exist states should also consider
taking the next step and testing for toxins, heavy metals, and viruses.
order to improve water quality in the surf zone, the source(s) of
pollution must be determined. Obtaining information on the locations of
storm drains and sewage outfalls is useful to local and state water
quality officials, enabling them to make a more thorough analysis of
Addressing “non-point sources” of pollution will require involvement by all sectors of society, from government to
businesses to individual citizens and will require watershed-wide evaluations.
public dissemination of erosion information can be markedly improved in
many states. Most states have erosion studies, often conducted by
federal entities such as the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers or the US
Geological Survey, but the end product is usually a report geared
towards engineers or scientists, not the local citizen. Transforming
this information into a format that the general public can understand
and utilize would help the public and their representatives make
informed decisions on land use issues and appropriate responses to
erosion. Interactive erosion maps on web sites (Florida) or
long-term erosion rate maps on paper (Massachusetts, North
are useful tools for concerned citizens.
would be beneficial to have information on beach fill projects readily
available to the public. The majority of funding for these projects
comes from tax revenue (federal, state, and local). It is therefore the
taxpayer’s right to have access to information about these
expenditures, especially since, in some locations, all taxpayers are
paying for projects that only benefit certain coastal residents.
formats for providing beach fill information are the ones used by New
Jersey and South Carolina. These states provide detailed data on
location, cost, and completion date of each project. Another successful
template is Florida’s FACT study, which includes a geographic
to the beach fill data by creating a map of beach fill project
locations. Other state programs would benefit from gathering and
providing similar information.
should consider following the lead of North Carolina and South
Carolina to create a forward-thinking, stringent policy against the
hardening of the shoreline. A growing body of evidence points to the
detrimental nature of these structures and illustrates their disruption
of natural shoreline processes.
armoring information for the entire coast should be made available to
all citizens. Knowing the extent of shoreline armoring is beneficial to
local citizens and states by providing information necessary to evaluate
the effectiveness of coastal policies and to assess the cumulative
impacts of structures.
oceanfront construction setbacks based on historical erosion data should
be used to site new development. When existing coastal development is
damaged during a storm, states should have strict criteria
must be met before reconstruction is allowed.
for relocation in these instances may be appropriate. Managed retreat
from the coast
be evaluated as an erosion response alternative to armoring or continual
the interest of promoting better monitoring of sandy beach systems, the
Surfrider Foundation would like to see the implementation of a
standardized methodology for assessing beach ecological health. Metrics
can be developed to provide a revealing picture of the status of beach
systems and provide a standardized and systematic procedure for
assessing ecological health to meet the goals of ecosystem-based
management. The state of Washington has a progressive program which
exhibits many of these characteristics.
inventory of surfing areas should be maintained by each state to prevent
future loss of these recreational resources. Documentation of their
existence will enable local activists to protect threatened surf spots.
Currently, only California and Hawaii maintain a clear inventory of
surfing areas and explicitly recognize waves as a valuable recreational
resource. Other important coastal recreational areas should also be
coastal program web sites should provide easy and complete access to
information on all of Surfrider Foundation beach health indicators. The
background information and indicator status information may be available
through the main CZM agency website or through links to other agency or
educational institutions web sites.
Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit
environmental organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of
the world's oceans, waves and beaches through conservation,
activism, research and education. We are a grassroots
organization with 60 chapters around the nation. The
Surfrider Foundation's core competency is
community-based education and activism in coastal
strengthen and build on our grassroots educational focus, the
organization disseminates science-based information at the community
level. The Surfrider Foundation accomplishes this most effectively
through the development of programs, such as Beachscape, Blue Water Task
Force and Respect the Beach, for chapter implementation. Surfrider
Foundation's programs work because they are used at the community level.
The programs and the data they generate
students, the public and coastal management agencies about local,
regional, national and even global environmental issues and problems,
while giving them lessons, data and tools they can apply in their own
Clemente, CA 92674-6010
to Evaluate Permit Compliance Along Minnesota’s Lake Superior
Easter, Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program, Clinton Little,
Minnesota’s Lake Superior Coastal Program
Pressures along Lake Superior
North Shore of Lake Superior has experienced increases in the conversion
of undeveloped forested lands to residential housing, resulting in
greater land disturbances that can degrade water quality in streams and
development often requires expanding the infrastructure supporting
communities, leading to road and highway improvements, greater
commercial development, and intensified use of local resources such as
parks, lakes, and rivers.
Compounding the impacts of residential development upon North Shore streams and rivers is the region’s small watersheds, steep topography, and clay soils over bedrock. These characteristics result in streams and rivers that are short in length with quick and intense runoffs, magnifying the impacts of land disturbances on water quality. In addition, there is a preponderance of wetlands in the region, leading to a high percentage of wetland impacts by development. Lakes are also susceptible to direct development pressures. Lake Superior’s shoreline is the site of seawalls, riprap, and other erosion control structures, and many of the smaller inland lakes are ringed with homes and docks. The job of regulating this development is shared by various local and state agencies, among them the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and their Public Waters Works permitting program.
DNR has jurisdiction over all activities that occur below the Ordinary
High Water Line (OHWL) of all public waters. The DNR exercises its
authority by requiring that a permit be obtained for any project
constructed below the OHWL, “which alter the course, current, or cross
section of public waters or public waters wetlands.” This requirement
covers a wide range of activities, including culvert and bridge repair,
shore protection, and the construction of docks and piers.
It is the responsibility of the DNR hydrologist to determine whether a proposed project can be authorized under applicable water law, and that it can be done in a manner that avoids significant environmental impacts. This decision is made after a review process during which the hydrologist will frequently work with the applicant to ensure that the project is consistent with state laws and policies.
permit has a list of general and site-specific provisions that the
applicant must meet during and after construction.
projects for compliance with permit conditions, however, has been
problematic. Like many state agencies throughout the nation, the DNR has
undergone budget cuts and staff reductions, leaving hydrologists
responsible for regulating activities over large geographic areas.
Adding to this problem is an inefficient system for managing permit
data. The existing permit database is both limited in its access and
difficult to use, leading the hydrologists to rely on hardcopy files.
This makes keeping track of past projects a difficult and time-consuming
process and results in fewer project site visits for compliance
In an effort to address this problem, the DNR initiated a project to evaluate compliance with permit conditions and to assess the effectiveness of the permitting process. A key component of this project was to create a new permit database for use within a Geographic Information System (GIS) to provide the hydrologists with a useful tool for tracking permits, as well as form the foundation for a permit compliance study. To meet this end, there was a conscious effort to use existing software, available to the widest range of DNR staff.
new database, called “Permit Tracker”, was created using Microsoft
Access software. Permit Tracker was designed as a streamlined version of
the existing database, one that is easy to use and accessible for both
hydrologists and DNR support staff. Permit Tracker differs from the old
permit database in several important ways: it eliminates needless
information, fields are labeled intuitively (i.e., not with
abbreviations), it provides links to other files, and it contains more
accurate spatial information allowing, the data to be linked to a GIS.
consulting with hydrologists about what to include in the database,
there was concern that too much information can be overwhelming. Permit
Tracker contains fewer tables and less information than the old
database, but tailors this information towards the hydrologists needs.
This allows Permit Tracker to avoid techniques aimed at reducing file
size, such as the reliance on codes, enabling it to be more intuitive to
use and enhancing its attractiveness as a tool.
part of the development of a new permit database, the hardcopy permit
files were scanned into PDF format using Adobe Acrobat software. A field
was added to Permit Tracker that contains the location of each scanned
This creates a link that can be used in both Access and ArcView 3.3 to open the PDF file, providing immediate access to permit information.
most significant improvement in Permit Tracker is its emphasis on
increasing the precision of its spatial data. Past permit databases
relied on Public Land Survey (PLS) descriptions to list project
locations, a level of precision that, at best, could narrow a project to
within the quarter-quarter of a section, an area equal to 40 acres,
limiting its application in a GIS. Permit Tracker provides UTM
coordinates for each project [, which are] collected using GPS units
during site visits or with aerial photography in GIS. Positional
accuracy varies depending on which method is used, but in most instances
it is estimated to be within 200 feet. The use of UTM coordinates allows
permit information to be linked to GIS for viewing and analysis.
Permit Tracker with ArcView
integrating Permit Tracker with ArcView, the hydrologist can now view
and query past permit data in tabular and spatial form. All entry and
editing of permit data is done in Access using forms designed for ease
of use. Permit Tracker’s tables are uploaded into ArcView through an
SQL link, and are viewed by creating an event theme, allowing recent
edits to be displayed quickly and easily.
the permit data in ArcView, the hydrologist can view and manipulate this
information in conjunction with an extensive array of GIS layers,
including aerial photographs, hydrologic data, road information, and
scanned maps. As an analysis tool, this can provide a quick, preliminary
assessment from the office of any potential problems associated with
scanned permit files are accessible in ArcView using the “hot link”
tool. This feature is
particularly useful in obtaining detailed information on specific
permits without having to leave ArcView. Hydrologists are encouraged to
take digital photos of permit sites for inserting into the PDF,
providing additional information available for permit review.
the recent increases in power and memory available in laptop computers,
it is now practical to have ArcView and Permit Tracker mobile, bringing
all the benefits of these systems into the field. By connecting ArcView
with a GPS, project sites can be located quickly and additional spatial
information collected on site, can be downloaded immediately.
The most direct advantage of developing this system is the increased efficiency in managing permit data, benefiting work both in and outside the office. Questions about permits may be answered quickly, not just by the reviewing hydrologist, but by other staff as well. Site visits can be planned more efficiently, and staff not directly involved in issuing the permit can undertake initial compliance monitoring, increasing the ability of the agency to review permit compliance despite staff constraints.
future indirect benefit may be enhanced interagency cooperation in
reviewing and monitoring projects. There is often overlap in the
regulatory jurisdiction for different state and local agencies, and many
projects are required to apply for multiple permits. Creating digital
copies of permit files may facilitate and encourage the sharing of
information between the different permitting authorities.
GIS to the Problem of Compliance
a permit tracking system that uses Access and ArcView software is an
important first step in understanding the problem of monitoring levels
of compliance with permit conditions. The question is not if the laws
are adequate, but whether they are effective. In order to begin to
answer this question, it is necessary to have easy access to the permit
data. Permit Tracker is designed to provide that access, and when paired
with ArcView, increase the ability of DNR staff to conduct spatial
analyses. It enables DNR staff to increase compliance monitoring and
will provide both a foundation for a compliance monitoring study that
will evaluate the permit process and begin to assess cumulative effects
from development along the North Shore, information that will be used to
guide future policy decisions.
Lake Superior Coastal Program
Coastal Management Fellow
Harbors, MN 55616
Translation for Non-point Source Pollution Control – A Cultural Models
Approach with Municipal Officials
Feurt, Wells NERR and Antioch New England
research that identifies and documents the scope, causes and
consequences of degradation of coastal and estuarine resources must be
translated to decision makers, resource management agencies and the
public in ways that are understandable and useful. The practical
application of scientific information can be hindered by lack of
understanding by users unfamiliar with scientific information and
complex technologies. The Coastal Training Program (CTP) of the National
Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR) system has been developed to provide
science based information and training to decision makers in ways that
promote wise stewardship of coastal resources.
Water quality, pollution and storm water management are key training themes identified through a needs assessment of coastal decision makers served by the Wells NERR CTP. Municipal officials have been identified as the priority audience for this training. This paper presents the results of research designed to assess the ecological knowledge, beliefs and values of municipal officials in southern Maine about water pollution; the connections between land use and water quality, and the role of science in decision-making. Ethnographic and social science methods are used to determine the cultural models of municipal officials relevant to non-point source pollution and to compare lay knowledge with an expert model of non-point source pollution. Knowledge of the resultant cultural models will be used to design and evaluate water quality related training and outreach materials to coastal decision makers. The applicability of this method to enhance the effectiveness of CTP across the NERR system will be assessed.
Coastal Storms Initiative – Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Tool
Jackson, NOAA Coastal Services Center
Coastal Storms Initiative (CSI) is a nationwide effort led by the
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to lessen impacts
to coastal communities from storms. As part of the CSI, the NOAA Coastal
Services Center developed a tool for conducting risk and vulnerability
assessments. The Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Tool (RVAT), one of
nine CSI projects piloted in the St. Johns River Watershed in Florida,
involved the development of an on-line spatial analysis tool for
conducting these assessments in Brevard and Volusia Counties.
Communities need to be able to identify their risks and vulnerabilities
to coastal storms to create effective hazard mitigation strategies and
reduce storm impacts.
RVAT is an extension of
the methodology in the Community Vulnerability
Assessment Tool CD-ROM and http://www.csc.noaa.gov/products/nchaz/startup.htm that involve the examination of physical, social, economic, and environmental vulnerability at the community level to enhance objectivity in developing proactive hazard mitigation, emergency response, and disaster recovery strategies. The Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool demonstrates a community risk and vulnerability assessment methodology, based on the H. John Heinz III Center Panel on Risk, Vulnerability, and the True Cost of Hazards findings, as reported in the Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards (The H. John Heinz Center for Science, Economics and the Environment 2000). The Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool includes a tutorial and a case study on a community-level assessment that was conducted in New Hanover County, North Carolina, to guide the user through a seven-step risk and vulnerability assessment process. Although the Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool was piloted in a coastal county, it can be applied to any type of hazard in any geographic location, both at macro and micro levels. The Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool is a highly flexible tool, from which results can be obtained in a geographic information system (GIS) or through the use of static maps and handwritten data overlays. However, GIS provides a richer environment for analysis and data modification. Results from the Community Vulnerability Assessment Tool analysis provide a baseline from which to prioritize the mitigation measures to employ, and to evaluate the effectiveness of those measures over time. Mapping allows the community to spatially analyze hazards and vulnerabilities and make informed decisions about risk reduction (Flax 2002).
NOAA Coastal Storms Initiative was initiated in the St. Johns River
Watershed through a series of workshops designed to help identify the
related needs within the watershed. The workshops helped to ascertain
the need for expanded access to the data and information, especially
spatial data, utilized to conduct risk and vulnerability assessments and
to develop hazard mitigation plans. Each of the counties had previously
developed comprehensive hazard mitigation plans based on a risk and
vulnerability assessment; however access to the data and information was
limited to a few hard copy reports housed at the emergency management
office in each county.
addition, many of the smaller communities within the counties, without
in-house GIS capability, identified the need for access to spatial
analysis tools. Based on the needs of the
emergency managers, coastal zone managers, planners, floodplain
managers, etc., the Center decided to create an Internet mapping
application, the RVAT, to increase access and utility of the risk and
vulnerability assessment data and information within the community.
On-line access to the Internet mapping application enables the local
decision makers to utilize the hazards risk data on a daily basis when
making land use decisions and permitting new developments.
contains an interactive Internet mapping application that allows anyone
with a Web browser and Internet access to utilize powerful spatial
analysis tools. RVAT contains tutorials that ensure usability by even
novice computer users.
tool also contains textual Web pages with information about how and why
risk and vulnerability assessments are conducted, a data dictionary
describing the reliability and source for all spatial data, and links to
addition to serving as a planning and decision-support tool for
emergency and coastal zone managers, the tool will also educate
residents, businesses, and tourists about potential coastal storm
impacts within their area. Through the tool’s interactive map, a
homeowner, for instance, is able to find out the vulnerability of his or
her property to coastal storm-related hazards, such as hurricane storm
surge, inland flooding, coastal erosion, and hurricane winds.
tool will also provide the public with more detailed information about
the potential impacts associated with each hazard, including a 3-D model
simulation of hurricane storm surge for several locations within each
county. The tool also incorporates access to real-time hazard forecast
and observation data, such as flood forecast information from the
National Weather Service Southeast River Forecast Center.
By engaging community officials in the development of RVAT, NOAA is striving to ensure that communities are equipped with the right information in the right format to prepare for coastal storms. To help accomplish this goal, RVAT is accessible on the Internet and affords spatial analysis functionality (without requiring users to have geographic information system software. Enhanced access to risk and vulnerability assessment data will enable an informed citizenry to work with local planners and officials to make improved decisions related to coastal storms.
on-line Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Tool was completed in
September 2003 and can be accessed at the following URL: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/rvat/
H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment
(2000). The Hidden Costs of Coastal Hazards: Implications for Risk
Assessment and Mitigation. Island, Washington, DC, (xv-xvi, 16-19,
Lisa, Russell W. Jackson, and David Stein. “Community Vulnerability
Assessment Tool Methodology,” Natural Hazards Review. Volume 3,
Number 4. November 2002. (pp. 163-176).
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center (2003).
“Risk and Vulnerability Assessment Tool” (On-line), available: http://www.csc.noaa.gov/rvat/
Coastal Services Center
South Hobson Avenue
the Carolinas Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction System (CARO-COOPS)
Davis, Baruch Institute/University of South Carolina, Madilyn Fletcher,
USC/Baruch Institute, Len Pietrafesa, North Carolina State University,
Marvin Moss, University of North Carolina/Wilmington, Earle Buckley,
North Carolina State University
coastal ocean of North and South Carolina is one of the nation’s most
ecologically diverse and economically important systems. A need exists
for real-time data and comprehensive information products on marine and
coastal conditions in the region, but the present observational network
of routine in situ data is inadequate for most applications. In
addition, an improved understanding of how the coastal ocean has behaved
in the past, and is likely to behave in the future, is essential to
managing the region’s ocean and coastal resources.
“Carolinas Coastal Ocean Observing and Prediction System”
(Caro-COOPS) was recently deployed through a partnership between the
University of South Carolina, North Carolina State University, and
University of North Carolina at Wilmington. This new observational array
currently comprises three shore-based stations and nine offshore buoys,
which provide a new foundation for integrated observations, data
communications, management, and modeling of the Carolinas’ coastal
ocean. Caro-COOPS will continually strive to meet the information needs
of a broad user-base that includes federal, state, and local coastal and
ocean managers, industries, and stakeholders.
An initial demonstration of the real-time interdisciplinary forecasting capacity of Caro-COOPS is focusing on real-time predictions and analyses of storm surge and flooding before and during landfall of coastal storms. This product will provide local and state officials with information needed to improve mitigation, preparedness, and prevention measures. Caro-COOPS data will also be of use for future applications related to water quality and the transport of pollutants, sediment transport and shoreline stability, and fisheries management.
Institute for Marine and Coastal Sciences
of South Carolina
GIS to Measure Performance Indicators for Coastal Hazards in Wisconsin
Hart, University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute, Alberto Vargas,
Wisconsin Coastal Management Program
information systems provide a useful tool for measuring the performance
of coastal management programs. Over the past nine years, a great deal
of effort has been expended to build an integrated GIS for the Great
Lakes coast in Wisconsin. As a result, there is a rich store of local,
regional, and state government spatial data that can be utilized to
support decision-making about coastal management. This presentation
examines the development of coastal performance indicators in Wisconsin
and the use of the Great Lakes GIS to assess progress in coastal
management related to coastal hazards, including identification of
recession rates and counting structures in erosion hazard areas.
The presentation will also discuss the impact of public meetings in Bayfield and Ozaukee Counties to present information on the nature and extent of coastal hazards. The authors also discuss a collaborative project between the Wisconsin Coastal Management Program and UW Sea Grant Institute to develop a coastal performance measurement system for Wisconsin within the context of the current NOAA initiative to build a national coastal performance measurement system.
Advancements in Regional Ocean Governance
Cohen, NOAA Coastal Services Center
governance and management regimes in the U.S. are fragmented, complex,
and often poorly understood.
a result, many within the management community recognize the need for
ocean management information systems that can interpret these and other
offshore jurisdictional complexities.
Ocean Planning Information System (OPIS), developed by the National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) Coastal Services
Center, has served as a model for regional ocean governance since
September 1999, providing the coastal management community of the
southeastern U.S. with access to regional, georeferenced regulatory and
environmental spatial data. By
integrating environmental data with spatially referenced legal,
political, and jurisdictional frameworks, OPIS provides a holistic
representation of the management structure and can draw attention to
gaps, overlaps, or inconsistencies. The ability to visualize the spatial
extent of laws or management structures in conjunction with associated
natural resources or ocean uses, for example, provides a powerful
mechanism not only to highlight potential use conflicts or policy
inconsistencies, but also to educate the public on a variety of issues.
While the data and information contained within OPIS are specific to the
Southeast region of the U.S., the principles and methodologies on which
the system is based are applicable nationwide and have since spurred
similar projects in other regions.
Over the years, governance-related issues have received particular attention as questions arose regarding inconsistent marine boundary descriptions at both the state and federal levels. Interagency working groups were established to address these issues at the federal level, formulate consistent methodologies, and assemble a best practices document that communicates this expertise to both legal and technical staff at all levels of government to reduce the likelihood that such discrepancies will persist in the future. Participation in these and other activities that support and promote a better understanding of ocean governance at the state, regional, and national scales continues to be a priority for the Center.
to Ocean Governance Recommendations
U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy has generated a renewed interest in, and
focus on, ocean policy and governance issues nationwide. Established by
the Oceans Act of 2000, the commission is mandated to provide
the president and Congress for a coordinated and comprehensive national
ocean policy. This increased awareness in the U.S. provided a unique
opportunity to revisit the utility of the OPIS site and restructure its
content to incorporate additional data and information on laws and
regulations, observational or monitoring systems, marine protected
areas, and other elements that provide context for complex governance
of the commission’s governance-related guidance to date has focused on
the need for regional, coordinated approaches to management that limit
the potential for contradiction and duplicative efforts. In addition,
the commission has stressed the need to address any inconsistencies or
inaccuracies associated with marine boundaries. Although the OPIS
product has served in this capacity for many years, the NOAA Coastal
Services Center recognizes the need to respond to these recommendations
with the incorporation of additional guidance and legislative
information about existing and emerging offshore issues (e.g.,
mariculture and wind farms).
regions struggling with offshore regulatory issues could benefit from a
compilation of data and information applicable to these topic areas.
Coastal ocean observing systems, for example, provide near real-time
access to a wealth of monitoring data but are typically underutilized in
the area of coastal management. Draft recommendations from the Oceans
Commission emphasize the importance of these systems as a management
tool; therefore, the OPIS Web site will now incorporate an explanation
of some of these monitoring systems, ongoing initiatives, and pilot
projects, as well as on-line access to observational data within its
Coastal observations are only one of many topics to have received increased attention in the past few years. Marine protected areas (MPA) have also been the focus of increased interest as agencies work to implement the goals outlined in MPA Executive Order 13158, signed by former President Clinton in 2000. OPIS will include additional data, information, and resources to support these and other ocean planning and management issues.
OPIS provided the impetus for much of the Center’s involvement in
governance-related projects and partnerships, it is not the only means
by which staff members work to investigate and address technical issues
related to management and jurisdictional authorities.
Center co-chairs the Federal Geographic Data Committee’s (FGDC) Marine
Boundary Working Group (MBWG), an interagency committee formed to
address issues pertaining to the
and technical aspects of marine or maritime boundaries. The MBWG
includes representation from each of the various agencies responsible
for the creation of U.S marine boundaries and seeks to address the many
challenges and inconsistencies in boundary descriptions and protocols.
Because these data may
been difficult to access in the past and because geographic information
system (GIS) users have the capacity to create these data themselves,
boundary data were generated by a number of groups with varying levels
of accuracy. To reduce confusion and to promote the use of high-quality
data, the MBWG completed a Web site and data portal1
provide access to the most accurate boundary information and geographic
data, as developed by the agency that maintains jurisdiction.
given the combined expertise of all members of the MBWG and the lessons
learned through years of collaboration, the group is developing a best
practices handbook for the creation of marine and coastal boundaries.
The handbook will provide guidance from both the legal perspective
(i.e., the formulation of textual descriptions) and the technical
perspective (i.e., the creation of a legally defensible digital boundary
based on a textual or coordinate-based description). The publicly
available handbook is coauthored by NOAA, the U.S. Minerals Management
Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and is expected to be
finalized in fall 2004.
incorporation of newer geospatial and Internet technologies has greatly
expanded the types of data and mapping functionality that can be served
within the OPIS on-line mapping application. Dramatic increases in
computing speeds and bandwidth, for example, have significantly
increased the capacity to provide large data sets over the Internet. In
1999, when OPIS became publicly available, the amount of time required
to load and view aerial photography, nautical charts, or other raster
data on a regional scale precluded its incorporation into the product.
For much the same reason, it was difficult to present very precise,
high-resolution vector data (e.g., shoreline or bathymetry) over such a
large geographic region, given the very large file sizes. Still, these
data types are useful not only for visualization purposes but also to
provide very detailed information that can be used to support both
regional and more localized management decisions. The OPIS development
team capitalized on this opportunity to incorporate raster-based data
that provide reference and context for a number of issues. Available for
viewing within the enhanced OPIS on-line mapping application are coastal
change analysis data, digital orthophotography, bathymetric data, and
NOAA nautical charts for the southeast U.S.
technological advancements that have influenced the OPIS on-line mapping
application were the improved options for remote access to and
manipulation of data over the Internet. When OPIS was originally
created, it was not possible to transfer data to a remote user over the
Internet; therefore, the
application responded to a data request by returning only a static image
of the map. Because no actual data were returned to the user, the
ability to further examine or analyze the information was quite limited.
With the use of more current technologies, however, the functionality
has greatly expanded. While earlier versions of mapping software
required a significant amount of customization to provide even a basic
level of functionality, software packages are now available that provide
a broad suite of functions “out of the box” to allow the user to
view, manipulate, download, and print maps of the data. These software
enhancements allowed the OPIS team to incorporate a wider array of
visualization and manipulation tools in the map display; however, a
minimal level of customization was required to maintain the specialized
functionality (e.g., legislative and agency jurisdictional queries) that
is such an integral part of
Marine Boundary Working Group Data Portal is accessible at
for Regional Collaboration
bodies, both formal and informal, exist within every region of the
country to discuss not only ocean governance issues but a number of
others as well. While regional or transboundary management structures
may still be difficult to implement given political constraints,
managers recognize the need to share data and information and to learn
from the successes and challenges of adjacent states or partner
agencies. Funding constraints persist within many agencies, thus
highlighting the importance of collaboration and the need to eliminate
duplicative efforts. On-line regional information tools such as OPIS
provide an excellent forum for these types of activities, allowing
participants to view data and discuss a variety of management-related
issues without having to travel to a common location.
Regional information systems can be just as useful to engage the public as they are to support interagency or regional collaboration. Because the data are presented within an interactive map display, these types of regional information systems can be a very useful and efficient means to demonstrate and display potential areas of concern for the public. Interactive map displays provide a powerful mechanism for communication and collaboration, allowing the public to ask questions of the data and become more comfortable with the results and analyses on which decisions are based. In addition, certain ocean and coastal issues are more easily explained using a spatial reference. For example, concerns related to the proximity of sensitive resources to harmful activities or incompatible uses become readily apparent in a map format. As a result, on-line mapping applications have the potential to enhance the participatory aspects of many zoning and regulatory processes by providing stakeholders and decision makers with a mechanism to communicate and evaluate a suite of potential policy options.
tools, particularly GIS-based tools, provide a valuable and practical
mechanism to investigate ocean governance-related issues. Although the
connection between geospatial technologies and legislative or
jurisdictional information may not be readily apparent, the ability to
visualize the area of applicability for certain laws or agency
jurisdictions, in reference to other environmental, natural resource, or
ocean use data presents decision makers with a more holistic and
comprehensive approach to ocean planning.
The ability to serve and visualize these data over the Internet
presents an added benefit. Multiple collaborators are able to view the
information concurrently within their Web browsers (i.e., without the
need for additional software), which encourages active participation and
discussion within the group. This combination of geospatial and Internet
technologies provides an exciting opportunity to support ocean
governance-related activities in the future, as agencies and
organizations continue to struggle with spatial complexities,
overlapping jurisdictions, and emerging policy concerns.
Coastal Services Center
S. Hobson Ave.
a Science-based Decision Support Tool for Dock Management: Results from
a Science Workshop
Kelty, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Centers
The permit most frequently sought from coastal manages is for dock construction, and the number of permits issued each year is increasing.
There is a perceived “right” to have a dock – 90% of South Carolina coastal residents surveyed in 2001 want a dock, 86% felt docks increased their property value, and 73% thought they should be allowed to build one (Felts et al. 2001).
Many people consider
private residential docks to be a normal and characteristic part of the
coastal landscape, and cannot understand why they must undergo an often
long and arduous permit review process. Others consider docks a threat
to public values and the environment, and question why they are allowed
at all. As coastal areas are developed and the number of permit requests
increases, coastal managers are looking for a rational, science-based
decision-making tool to guide their permitting decisions.
other coastal activities, the construction and use of private
residential docks can create a range of impacts depending on both
site-specific factors and the perspective of the observer.
While it is clear that docks create shade, alter flow, introduce
chemicals into the marine environment, and impact public access and
navigation, literature quantifying these individual and cumulative
effects is limited.
response to a request by the Southeast Regional Coastal Program
managers, supported by an interest in many other states, NOAA’s
National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science hosted a workshop to review
the available scientific knowledge about the impacts of small,
recreational docks. Twenty-two scientists and eight managers
representing the Southeast, Mid-Atlantic, Northeast, Great Lakes, and
Pacific discussed what is known (and not known) about how docks and
associated boating activities individually and collectively impact
vegetation, sediments and sedimentation, contamination, navigation and
public trust rights, and aesthetics/quality of life.
The workshop focused on small, recreational docks designed for residential use. These generally consist of a pile-supported walkway leading from the shore into the water and often have a float at the water end of the structure. Floats may be bottom anchored or held in place by piles. The structures may be used for boat landings, fishing, or similar uses.
of the Workshop
synthesize existing scientific information on direct, cumulative, and
secondary effects of small docks on the coastal environments and their
identify gaps in research results related to the impacts of small docks,
assess susceptibility of regions to the negative impacts associated with
aquatic vegetation (SAV) and marsh grasses provide critical habitat,
filter nutrients and sediments, provide nursery habitat for fish and
shellfish, stabilize bottom sediments, and form the basis of the marine
food web. Impacts to plant productivity generally occur in two ways:
short-term construction impacts and chronic impacts from shading (see
Recommendations section for mitigation of construction impacts).
Irradiance under docks falls well below the requirements for minimum
maintenance (~3 M d-1)
and full growth (= 5 M d-1).
This results in reduced shoot density, biomass, growth, and increased
height (due to etiolation), increased erosion, undercutting of
vegetation (Burdick and Short 1999).
varied by species - Spartina patens was most robust followed by Distichlis
spicata, then S. alterniflora (Kearney et al. 1983).
significance of these shading impacts to the coastal ecosystem as a
whole varies by region. In South Carolina, docks existing in 1999
reduced S. alterniflora cover by 0.03-0.72%. Projected to a total
possible build-out of similarly sized docks in these creeks, the
decrease in marsh grass density was 0.18 – 5.45% (Sanger and Holland
New England and Florida, where coastal vegetation is already severely
impacted and reduced, the existing and potential loss of vegetation
associated with dock shading is greater.
most common contaminant-related concern related to docks is leaching
from preservatives applied to pilings or floats in locations that come
into regular contact with water. Most states have banned the use of
creosote or pentachlorophenol in aquatic settings (they leach readily
and have demonstrated toxic effects); and wood pressure-treated with a
chromated copper arsenate (CCA) is the most commonly used material for
pilings and decking for small docks. CCA also leaches in saline waters
(Weis et al. 1991, 1992). The degree of toxicity depends on the
chemical form as it reaches the target organism and changes over time
and in response to sediment types, amounts of organic material present,
oxygen levels and water movement (Luoma and Carter 1991). 99% of the
leaching occurs within the first 90 days (Cooper 1990, Brooks 1990).
In areas of low water flow, elevated concentrations Cr, Cu, and As can be found in organisms living on and around treated pilings, in fine sediments adjacent to bulkheads constructed of CCA-treated wood, and in sediment feeders (Wendt et al. 1996, Weis and Weis 1996, Weis et al. 1998). Dilution mitigates these impacts; the bioaccumulation of dock lechates by marine biota did not impact survival of mummichogs, juvenile red drum, white shrimp, or mud snails in South Carolina’s estuaries which are characterized by higher flow rates (Sanger and Holland 2002). However, a tidal flushing threshold for contaminant impacts has not been identified, and data does not exist to evaluate the importance of dilution in high flow areas with different benthic community composition.
small docks are associated with boating traffic. Issues of concern
include: impacts to submerged aquatic vegetation; contamination from
fuel discharges; erosion of shoreline & flats; resuspension of
bottom sediments and turbidity; noise; and disturbance of wildlife
(Crawford et al. 1998, Kennish 2002). However, these impacts are
difficult to quantify.
on the limited quantitative data available, scientists
agreed that, “motor boat traffic is far from a benign influence on the
aquatic and marine environments,” and identified quantification of
boating impacts as a research need.
to Aesthetics and Quality of Life
a manager’s perspective, oftentimes the publicly-held concerns related
to small docks are not really related to the environment. They may be
aesthetic in nature, a sense of over-development of the shore, or simply
change. It is not uncommon for managers to hear very vocal outcries from
one segment of the population, while the rest remain quiet.
an attempt to get a better sense of public sentiment regarding docks in
South Carolina, Felts et al. conducted telephone surveys of the
opinions of residents of coastal counties in the state (2001, n=384) and
of dock owners (2002, n= 423).
of the residents of coastal counties felt that property owners should be
able to construct a dock.
of the dock owners and 50% of residents felt that docks should be
of the dock owners felt that the length of docks should be restricted;
nearly 80% felt that the size should be restricted. In contrast, only
50% of the general public felt length should be restricted.
of dock owners and the general public felt that docks are harmful to the
aquatic environment or detracted from the view of the water body and
of dock owners and the general public feel that there are not too many
is not clear whether these findings are transferable to other states or
regions within those states.
Visual Impact Assessment
the aesthetic appeal of docks is an individual assessment, techniques
have evolved that appear to provide a reproducible or predictive
assessment of the aesthetic values of an area and how those might change
with development. Visual impact assessments (VIAs) considering 1)
landscape compatibility, 2) scale contrast, and 3) spatial dominance
were developed by Smardon (1986, 1988).
contrast to the social survey method discussed above, in which
respondents are asked to express their perception of an abstract issue
over the phone, VIAs present respondents with a concrete image that
shows how the visual landscape would be affected by a proposed change.
computer technology, these doctored images are realistic and easy to
make. VIAs indicate that, when shown two images of a shoreline, the vast
majority of people select the
image as being aesthetically preferable, and results from these
assessments are reliable and repeatable.
general, aesthetic preferences were for historic or generic coastal
development, water-elated development, open/distance water views,
enhanced water access, and diverse, well-maintained vegetation. People
disliked development in undeveloped coastal landscapes and tourist-like
commercial development (Banerjee 1987, Knutson et al 1993, Shannon et
al. 1990, Smardon 1987, Steinitz 1990).
or visual impacts have been used as a basis for denying permit
applications in Maine and New York. Maine’s Natural Resources
Protection Act (Title 38 §§ 480-A through Z), Standard 1, specifically
requires an applicant to demonstrate that a proposed activity will not
unreasonably interfere with existing scenic and aesthetic uses. Chapter
315: specifies State regulatory concerns; defines visual impacts;
establishes a procedure for evaluating visual impacts; establishes when
a visual assessment may be necessary; explains the components of a
visual assessment; and describes avoidance, mitigation and offset
measures that may eliminate or reduce adverse impacts to existing scenic
and aesthetic uses.
decisions on docks and piers should be based on impacts to habitats,
water quality, and existing uses, which include navigation, recreation,
and scenic and aesthetic.
should be water appropriate or water reliant.
shading impacts by limiting the
– 4ft min
– 4ft max
– N-S may minimize shading impacts
– access to mean low water
CCA alternatives in low flow areas.
can minimize shading impacts in high latitudes.
tunnels, reflective bottoms are available and can increase light
penetration under docks.
rather than walk/drag materials in.
low-pressure installation – sharpen piling tips, install with drop
should provide access to mean low water for a suitably sized boat.
have the right to access, not to a huge boat.
should not extend >25% in the water way
should not impeded Federal Navigation Projects or traditional navigation
should be considered in the permitting process.
Impact Assessments are a reliable way to predict impacts.
are good for values, but not good for aesthetic valuations.
associated with altered flow
searchable database of available literature
a checklist of parameters managers should consider
opportunities to pursue research needs
for new research
to present, review existing research
workshop to synthesize and discuss design, construction, and management
science synthesis session at CZ03.
receive a notice when the proceedings are available for download,
K.M. 1996. “Evaluating the environmental risks associated with the use
of chromated copper arsenate-treated wood products in aquatic
environments.” Estuaries 19(2A):296-305.
D.M. and F.T. Short. 1999. “The Effects of Boat Docks on Eelgrass Beds
in Coastal Waters of Massachusetts.” Environmental Management, 23 (2):
P.A. 1990. “Leaching of CCA from Treated Wood.” Proc. Canadian Wood
Preservation Association II: 144–169.
R. N. Stolpe and M. Moore, Eds. 1998. “The Environmental Impacts of
Boating: Proceedings of a workshop held at Woods Hole Oceanographic
Institution, Woods Hole, MA December 7–9 1994.” Technical Report
Arthur A, and Marijana Radic. 2002. “Survey of Coastal Dock Owners’
Perceptions of Docks”. Joseph P. Riley Institute for Urban Affairs and
Policy Studies, College of Charleston, SC. Prepared for the South
Carolina Department of HEC.
Michael J., (Editor). 2002. “Impacts of Motorized Watercraft on
Shallow Estuarine and Coastal Marine Environments.” Journal of Coastal
Research Special Issue 37.
V., Y. Segal and M.W. Lefor. 1983. “The Effects of Docks on Salt Marsh
Vegetation”. The Connecticut State Department of Environmental
Protection, Water Resources Unit, Hartford, CT. 06106. 22p.
S.N. and Carter, J.L. 1991. “Effects of trace metals on aquatic
benthos.”. in Newman, M.C. and McIntosh, A.W., Eds., “Metal
Ecotoxicology: Concepts and Applications”, Chelsea, MI., Lewis
Publishers, p. 261–300.
B. and C. A. Simenstad. Overwater Structures: Marine Issues. White
paper. WA-RD 508.1. May 2001. http://depts.washington.edu/trac/bulkdisk/pkf/508.1a.pdf
DM and AF Holland. 2002. “Evaluation of the Impacts of Dock Structures
on South Carolina Estuarine Environments.” SC Department of Natural
Resources, Marine Resources Division Technical Report Number 99.
R.C., J. F. Palmer and J. P. Felleman. 1986. “Foundations for Visual
Project Analysis.” John Wiley and Sons, New York, NY
R. C. 1988. “Visual impact assessment for island and coastal
environments.” Impact Assessment Bulletin 6(1): 5–24.
P., J.S. Weis, and L.M. Coohill. 1991. “Toxicity to Estuarine
Organisms of Leachates from Chromated Copper Arsenate Treated Wood.”
Archives of. Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 20: 118–124.
P., J.S. Weis, A. Greenberg, and T.J. Nosker. 1992 “Toxicity of
Construction Materials in the Marine Environment: A Comparison of
Chromated-Copper-arsenate-Treated Wood and Recycled Plastic.” Archives
of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 22: 99–106.
J.S. and P. Weis. 1996. “The effects of using wood treated with
chromated copper arsenate in shallow water environments: a review.”
J.S. and P. Weis. 1998. “Effects of CCA Wood Docks and Resulting Boats
on Bioaccumulation of Contaminants in Shellfish Resources: Final Report
to DEP.” A report to the NJ DEP.
P.H., R.F. Van Dolah, M.Y. Bobo, T.D. Mathews, and M.V. Levisen. 1996.
“Wood Preservative Leachates from Docks in an Estuarine
Environment.” Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology,
Centers for Coastal Ocean Science
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
East-West Highway, SSMC 4, rm. 8215
Spring, MD 20910
phone: 301-713-3020 x133
Management Tools to Minimize the Impacts of Residential Docks and Piers
Castellan, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Office of
Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
comprehensively manage docks, coastal managers must have both the latest
science to support their decisions and the laws and policies in place to
implement new management techniques. This past November NOAA hosted a
workshop to engage resource management professionals in promoting better
dock and pier management tools.
workshop compiled and evaluated various regulatory, planning, design,
and construction techniques that can be used to minimize the
environmental impacts from small docks and piers. This talk presents the
results of this workshop, describing the range of existing regulations
and showcasing programs incorporating progressive and innovative
management tools. As follow-up from the workshop, NOAA is developing a
searchable, web-enabled database to house information on state
regulatory and planning programs used to manage docks. The database will
help managers improve and justify their regulations and permitting
processes by providing examples of how other states handle similar
circumstances. Information in the database can also be used to develop
new standard operating procedures, support permit denials when the
impacts of a proposed project are unreasonable, and develop dock
management plans. The session will conclude with a discussion on
regional outreach efforts to promote the information learned during the
national workshop to a wider audience.
is one of three related talks on Integrating Science, Policy, and
Management of Docks and Piers. Also see Assessing Environmental and
Aesthetic Impacts of Docks and Piers (R. Kelty) and Visual Impact
Assessment of Docks and Piers—Theory and Practice (S.
Bliven) also included in these proceedings.
issues confronting coastal managers are as divisive or difficult to
manage as regulating the construction of private recreational docks and
piers. The number of dock permit requests has increased significantly
over the last few decades and dock authorizations are now the single
most frequently sought permit from coastal managers. For example, the
number of dock permit requests received each year in South Carolina
increased ten fold over the past two decades from 80 to over 800.
coastal managers and citizens are concerned about this proliferation of
docks and the potential impacts numerous private docks may have on the
environment, navigation, and the ability of the public to access the
waterfront. Therefore, coastal managers have requested additional
the suite of management techniques -- both regulatory and non-regulatory
-- that they can employ to better manage dock and pier growth.
Management Tools Workshop
provide coastal managers with the tools they need to improve dock and
pier management, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s
(NOAA) Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM), National
Centers for Coastal and Ocean Science (NCCOS), and the Coastal Services
Center (CSC), hosted a workshop, Residential Docks and Piers, Phase II:
Management Tools, November 18-19, 2003 in Durham, NH. This
workshop was built upon an earlier workshop, Developing a Science-based
Decision Support Tool for Small
Dock Management, Phase I: Status of the Science, which NCCOS sponsored
the previous winter (see R. Kelty, Assessing Environmental and
Aesthetic Impacts of Docks and Piers, also included in these
purpose of this management workshop was to: (1) compile and evaluate
available tools (planning, regulatory, design and construction
techniques) for dock and pier management; and (2) initiate planning for
regional meetings to inform a larger audience of coastal managers,
planners, and local decision makers about what was learned during the
first two national workshops.
participants from coastal states across the country (ME, NH, MA, RI, CT,
NJ, NY, MD, NC, SC, GA, FL, AL, MS, WI and WA) attended the two-day
included a mix of coastal regulatory, planning and policy staff as well
as outreach staff from the National Estuarine Research Reserves (NERRs)
and Sea Grant Programs, several engineers, and an environmental lawyer.
following is a summary of the presentations and small group discussions
that occurred at the management tools workshop and a discussion of
several follow-up projects that have stemmed from the two national
workshops: a searchable database on dock management tools and regional
regulatory techniques are the most common method states use for
controlling dock placement and design. At the state level, they rely on
three primary legal bases for their regulatory programs: (1) police
powers (the state’s authority to regulate for public health, safety
and welfare); (2) public trust (the state’s authority and obligation
to protect important public resources including coastal land, tidal
land, submerged land, and coastal waters); and (3) ownership (the
state’s proprietary interest in property and property rights through
real property, fee interest, easements, eminent domain, leases and
licenses). While not as widely used, states can also use authorities
they have through tax law (e.g. the
ability to levee real estate taxes) and contract law (e.g. the ability
to craft deeds, easements, covenants, and siting agreements) to regulate
docks and piers.
the local level, municipalities also have the ability to regulate dock
placement and design through a variety of regulatory techniques such as
zoning overlays, subdivision controls, building codes, ordinances,
harbormaster control, and dock registration programs (McGregor 2003).
addition to these commonly used regulatory techniques upon which many
states and municipalities rely, there are several new or emerging
regulatory tools can be used to address dock management from a slightly
different angle. To encourage docks to adhere to set standards or to
promote community docks instead of individual docks, states and local
governments could offer incentive programs such as subsidies, tax
reductions, or a streamlined permitting process.
Conversely, state and local governments could use disincentives
such as assessing a displacement or occupancy fee for use of submerged
land to deter dock permits. Dock permit applications could also undergo
more stringent scrutiny such as with an environmental impact statement
(EIS) or an Area of Environmental Concern. The regulatory body could
also require the applicant to demonstrate a need for a dock. Developers
often install deepwater docks to increase the property value regardless
of whether or not the future homeowner will own a boat that requires
deepwater access. Likewise, unless a homeowner owns three boats, it is
not necessary to permit them a dock that can berth three vessels. States
and municipalities can protect sensitive habitats or areas of historical
significance by placing density or timing restrictions on docks through
the use of zoning ordinances or seasonal restrictions for dock
states should ensure that the dock permits issued are consistent with
existing management plans such as the state’s coastal zone management
plan, municipal harbor or coastal plans, and local master plans
and Zoning Techniques
last two regulatory techniques (zoning and plan consistency) discussed
in the above section are going to be critically important in the future
of dock and pier management. The environmental, social and aesthetic
problems associated with docks are not caused but just one or a handful
of docks. These problems only arise with the increasing “sprawl” of
many docks. Therefore, it is critical that states consider the
cumulative impacts of docks if a full build out were to occur. After
all, the first dock permitted opens the door for many more docks.
is very difficult for the state to deny the tenth dock permit if they
have already approved dock permits for nine of its neighbors. However,
the current case-by-case permit review process that each individual dock
application undergoes does not address the sprawl or cumulative impacts
issue (Bliven 2003).
the only way to address the cumulative impacts of docks is for states to
employ a more comprehensive management scheme with a strong foundation
in planning and zoning. For planning and zoning efforts to be
successful, they first must have a well-defined and limited boundary
(O’Beirne 2003). The larger an
encompassed in a plan, the more difficult it will be to develop and
implement a successful program. In addition, management plans and zoning
overlays must be based on community values; this is critical for public
acceptance and legal support (Bliven 2003).
plans should also be fluid and updated or renewed regularly.
and piers can be addressed through a variety of management plans
including local coastal zone management plans, harbor management plans,
regional plans, and special area management plans (SAMPs). For example,
Pleasant Bay, Massachusetts and Ashley River, South Carolina both have
SAMPs that address concerns over dock proliferation in these areas
of the type of management plan chosen, the plan developed should
designate areas that are suitable for dock growth and areas that should
may entail establishing limits for the maximum number of docks allowed
in an area or prohibiting docks all together in a specific area. To
limit “sprawl,” plans should also encourage the use of communal or
community docks as opposed to individual docks.
example, it may be best to have one or two community docks for a new
waterfront subdivision instead of allowing each parcel to have their own
plans may choose to promote marinas as an alternative to individual
docks. States may also want to consider managing groups of docks as
marinas (Ross 2003). Clusters of docks often have similar environmental
impacts as a marina, but marinas are subject to more stringent
1. Overview Tab from the prototype Dock and Pier Management Database.
page 327 at originating URL for this figure.
One of the best outcomes of the management workshop was that it enabled states to talk with one another and learn what other states are doing for dock and pier management. Therefore, participants thought it would be helpful to compile the information into a searchable, web-enabled database that could be the “resource” for dock and pier management. Although participation in the database would be voluntary, all workshop participants said they were willing to enter in the necessary information for their state.
In addition, relevant information the NOAA Coastal Services Center collected for four southeastern states in their Residential Docks and Piers: Inventory of Laws, Regulations, and Policies for the Southeastern United States will be transferred to the new database so as to avoid duplication of this information.
The database organizes the information for each state into nine different tabs: (1) Overview; (2) Regulatory Programs; (3) Planning and Zoning; (4) Leasing; (5) Acquisition; (6) Siting Criteria; (7) Design Criteria; (8) Construction Criteria; and (9) Miscellaneous. The “Overview” tab will contain general contact information for the point person and/or agency(ies) within each state that handle dock and pier management as well as convey general background information for each state such as the number of docks permitted per year, the number or shoreline miles within the state and how the state defines a dock (Figure 1). The general background section will also contain a brief one or two paragraph description of how the state manages docks and piers to allow the user to quickly obtain a summary of the state’s overall program without reading through the more detailed information.
Regulatory, Planning and Zoning, Leasing, and Acquisition tabs provide
space for each state to describe several programs or authorities they
use to manage docks (Figure 2). There will be an opportunity to link
directly to the applicable authority or management plan if one is
available on line. The database will also provide information about
court cases that may have
the program. For specific regulatory or planning and zoning programs,
the state will be able to check a series of yes/no check boxes to
indicate if the program can be used to address specific issues related
to dock management such as siting, design, or construction aspects or
impacts the dock may have on habitat, navigation, public access, or
aesthetics (Figure 2). The information contained in the check boxes can
then be used in conjunction with
search tool to perform specific queries. For example, a user could
easily obtain a list of all the techniques states use to address dock
siting or limit impacts to habitat.
2. Planning and Zoning Tab from the prototype Dock and Pier Management
page 115 at originating URL for this figure.
Siting, Design and Construction Criteria tabs are designed to allow each
state to briefly describe specific standards or regulations they have to
direct dock siting, design and construction. For example, does the state
have specific requirements of siting a dock near shellfish beds, mooring
areas, or historical features? Has the state established maximum lengths
or widths for docks? Does the dock have to be a specific height above
vegetation? Are there specific construction practices that must be
followed such as using preferred or required
materials or meeting temporal or seasonal constraints for construction
activities? These are just a few examples of the types of information
that will be collected under these “criteria” tabs.
the “Miscellaneous” tab collects information on whether or not the
state has created a checklist or standard operating procedures for
evaluating dock permit applications or has education and outreach
materials available to dock and pier management issues, etc.
The management tools workshop and earlier science workshop compiled much useful information on dock and pier management. However, only a handful of people could attend each workshop. Therefore, we propose holding several regional workshops throughout the country in order to share the information learned during the national workshops with a wider audience. The regional workshops will also set the stage for improved communication on dock and pier issues within each region and give the regions an opportunity to cater the general national information to meet their specific needs. Since NOAA sponsored the first two workshops we hope state coastal management programs and other organizations and groups will be willing to co-sponsor the regional
workshops should be designed to target a wide audience wherever possible
by including coastal managers, the Army Corps of Engineers,
nongovernment organizations, contractors, consultants, local decision
makers and the general public. However, to meet their specific needs,
the region may decide to hold several mini-workshops to target different
are many different groups that focus on education and outreach that
could assist with the Regional Workshops such as the National Estuarine
Research Reserves (NERR), Sea Grant Programs, National Estuary Programs
and state coastal management programs. Several representatives from
NERRs and Sea Grant programs attended the national management tools
workshop and are interested in assisting with regional outreach efforts.
Because each region will likely be presenting on the same core information, NOAA has committed to developing model PowerPoint presentations to help with the regional outreach efforts and to prevent the regions from having to duplicate efforts. Presentation topics will most likely include: Environmental and Aesthetic Impacts of Residential Docks and Piers; Visual Impact Assessments: Theory and Practice; BMPs for Minimizing the Impacts of Your Residential Docks and Piers; and Management Techniques for Docks and Piers. The model presentations can be modified at the regional level to meet the specific needs of the region.
Steve. 2003. Small Dock Management: Non-Regulatory Techniques. Presented
at Residential Docks and Piers, Phase II: Management Tools,
November 18-19, 2003, Durham, NH.
Greggor. 2003. Legal Authorities and Management Options for Regulating
Docks and Piers. Presented at Residential Docks and Piers, Phase II:
Management Tools, November 18-19, 2003, Durham, NH.
Bill. 2003. Management of Residential Docks and Piers Using Special Area
Management Planning. Presented at Residential Docks and Piers, Phase
II: Management Tools, November 18-19, 2003, Durham, NH.
Neil. 2003. Residential Docks: Design, Environmental, Social Impacts and
Mitigation. Presented at Residential Docks and Piers, Phase II:
Management Tools, November 18-19, 2003, Durham, NH.
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ocean Service, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management
East-West Highway, SSMC4 N/ORM3
Spring, MD 20910
301-713-3155 x 225