Comanagement of U.S. Marine Protected Areas: Current Efforts and their Potential Implications for Seagrass Management at Fishers Island, New York
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Comanagement is practiced in many countries and recommended as an appropriate, equitable and effective approach to place-based, marine resource management. However, few examples of collaboratively managed marine protected areas (MPAs) involving government and community partners are found in the United States (U.S.). Efforts to share management of MPAs by the state and local communities have emerged in Florida, Hawai‘i, and California. These cooperative agreements demonstrate an alternative to the top-down, centralized government approach to natural resource management commonly practiced in the U.S. What conditions enabled or challenged the emergence of comanagement for these MPAs? How have local community norms, values and knowledge contributed to marine resource problem-solving in each case? Can experiences drawn from these cases inform or improve MPA management in other states? Recent legislation requiring the State of New York to designate Seagrass Management Areas and consult with local community members to effectively protect, manage and restore seagrass provides an opportunity to investigate these questions. This study reveals the conditions and strategies whereby solutions to MPA management problems emerged as a result of iterative, collaborative processes for Rookery Bay in Florida, Hā‘ena in Hawai‘i, and Catalina Island in California, where the state and local community share management responsibilities. For each case, I describe the development of MPAs and the collaborative agreement, identify the conditions that gave rise to comanagement, and map its problem-solving functions in the context of the social-ecological system. Drawing upon my analysis, I recommend strategies to enhance MPA comanagement and propose new conditions or drivers essential for comanagement of MPAs. Existing preconditions and the potential for a cooperative approach to seagrass management at Fishers Island, New York are derived from community members’ perceptions, values, hopes and concerns regarding local marine resources and the prospect of Seagrass Management Areas.
CitationCollier, Chantal (2016). Comanagement of U.S. Marine Protected Areas: Current Efforts and their Potential Implications for Seagrass Management at Fishers Island, New York. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/11884.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment