Advertisement

Environmental Monitoring and Assessment

, Volume 83, Issue 2, pp 145–162 | Cite as

Assessing Perceptions about Ecosystem Health and Restoration Options in Three East Coast Estuaries

  • Joanna Burger
Article

Abstract

Increasingly public and governmental agencies are concerned aboutrevitalizing coastal environments. Understanding how the publicuses these areas, and what they see as the most important improvements to these regions is critical to their assessment andmanagement. Uses of three estuaries, and perceptions of possiblemanagement and restoration options, were examined for people whowere interviewed in the New York/New Jersey Harbor, Manasquan Inlet, and Barnegat Bay, New Jersey. Nearly 90% of the people interviewed listed pollution as New Jersey's most important environmental problem. Most people (68%) used the habitat for outdoor sports, but rated communing with nature, walking, and the provision of open `green' space as the most valued uses. Pollution prevention was the most often mentioned habitat improvement desired, and people rated removing pollution, cleaning up garbage, and creating more fish breeding habitat the highest. There were significant locational differences inhow people used the estuaries, and in how they thought they should be improved. People from Barnegat Bay ranked most uses higher than did people from elsewhere, while the people from Manasquan Inlet rated the importance of most remediation and restoration actions higher. Many of the improvements fall withinenvironmental management, including (rank order from high to low)creating more fish breeding habitat, improving native vegetation,improving habitat for birds, increasing plant diversity,improving habitat for butterflies, and enlarging adjacentmarshes. The data provide clear support for the importance ofthese coastal habitats for communing with nature and having open`green space' spaces, and for providing recreationalopportunities. To enhance their value, people want to removepollution and improve both the habitat quality and the educational and recreational facilities.

assessment attitudes ecosystem health estuaries monitoring restoration 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Asher, H.: 2001, Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know, CQ Press, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  2. Ayres, R. V and Rod, S. R.: 1986, 'Patterns of pollution in the Hudson-Raritan Basin', Environ. 28, 14-43.Google Scholar
  3. Bengtsson J., Jones, H. and Setala, H.: 1997, 'The value of biodiversity', Trends Evol. Ecol. 12, 334-336.Google Scholar
  4. Bradshaw, A. D. and Chadwick, M. J.: 1980, The Restoration of Land, Univ. of California Press, Berkeley.Google Scholar
  5. Burger, J.: 2000, 'Consumption advisories and compliance: the case of the fishing public and the deamplification of risk', J. Environ. Plan. Manag. 43, 471-488.Google Scholar
  6. Burger, J.: 2001, 'Multiuse Coastal Commons: Personal Watercraft, Conflicts, and Resolutions', in J. Burger, E. Ostrom, R. B. Norgaard, D. Policansky, and B. Goldstein (eds), Protecting the Commons: A Framework for Resource Management in the Americas, Island Press, Washington D.C., pp. 195-217.Google Scholar
  7. Burger, J., Stephens Jr., W., Boring, C. S., Kuklinski, M., Gibbons, J. W. and Gochfeld, M.: 1999a, 'Ethnicity and risk: Fishing and consumption in people fishing along the Savannah River', Risk Anal. 19, 421-421.Google Scholar
  8. Burger, J., Kirk Pflugh, K., Lurig, L., Von Hagen, L. A. and Von Hagen, S.: 1999b, 'Fishing in urban New Jersey: Ethnicity affects information sources, perception, and compliance', Risk Anal. 19, 217-229.Google Scholar
  9. Cairns Jr., J. and Pratt, J. R.: 1995, 'Ecological restoration through behavioral change', Restor. Ecol. 3, 51-53.Google Scholar
  10. Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management: 1996, Report of the Commission on Risk Assessment and Risk Management, U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  11. Cordell, H. K., Herbert, N. G. and Pandolfi, F.: 1999, 'The growing popularity of birding in the United States', Birding 31, 168-176.Google Scholar
  12. Dillman, D. A.: 1978, Mail and Telephone Surveys: The Total Design Method, John Wiley & Sons, N.Y.Google Scholar
  13. Dunlap, R. E. and Van Liere, K. D.: 1978, 'Environmental Concern: A Bibliography of Empirical Studies and Brief Appraisal of the Literature', Public Administr. Series Biblio, No. 44, Monticello, Illinois.Google Scholar
  14. Ebert, E. S.: 1996, 'Fish consumption and human health: Developing partnerships between risk assessors and resource managers', Am. Fish. Soc. Symp. 16, 261-270.Google Scholar
  15. Finley, B. L., Trowbridge, K. R., Burton, S., Proctor, D. M., Panko, J. M. and Paustenbach, D. J.: 1997, 'Preliminary assessment of PCB risks to human and ecological health in the Lower Passaic River', J. Toxicol. Environ. Health 52, 95-118.Google Scholar
  16. Food and Drug Administration (FDA): 2001, 'FDA consumer advisory', http//www.fda.gov/bbs/topics/ANSWERS/2000/advisory.html.Google Scholar
  17. Frey, J. H. and Oishi, S. M.: 1995, How to Conduct Interviews by Telephone and in Person, Vol. 4 of The Survey Kit. Sage Publ., Thousand Oaks, CA.Google Scholar
  18. Gale, R. J. P.: 1991, 'Environment and development: Attitudinal impediments to policy integration', Environ. Conserv. 18, 228-236.Google Scholar
  19. Garvin, A. and Berens, G.: 1997, Urban Parks and Open Spaces, Urban Land Institute, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  20. Godbey, G., Graefe, A. and James, S.: 1992, The Benefits of Local Recreation and Park Services: A Nation-wide Study of the Perceptions of the American Public, National Recreation and Parks Association, Washington D.C.Google Scholar
  21. Greenberg, M.: 1999, 'Improving neighborhood quality: A hierarchy of needs', Housing Policy Debate 10, 601-624.Google Scholar
  22. Greenberg, M.: 2000a, 'Grassroots leadership, personality, and urban neighborhood environments: A cast study in New Jersey', Human Ecol. Rev. 7, 21-29.Google Scholar
  23. Greenberg, M.: 2000b, 'Neighborhoods: Slow places in a fast world?', Soc. 33, 28-32.Google Scholar
  24. Greenberg, M.: 2001, 'Elements and test of a theory of neighborhood civic participation', Human Ecol. Rev. 8, 40-51.Google Scholar
  25. Haeuber, R.: 1996, 'Setting the environmental policy agenda: The case of ecosystem management', Nat. Res. J. 36, 1-27.Google Scholar
  26. Hammond, A. L. (ed.): 1990, World Resources (1990-1991), Oxford University Press, Oxford, U.K.Google Scholar
  27. Handel, S. N., Robinson, G. R. and Beattie, A. J.: 1994, 'Biodiversity resources for restoration ecology', Restor. Ecol. 2, 230-241.Google Scholar
  28. Higgs, E. S.: 1997, 'What is good ecological restoration?', Conserv. Biol. 11, 338-348.Google Scholar
  29. Hobbs, R. J. and Norton, D. A.: 1996, 'Towards a conceptual framework for restoration ecology', Restor. Ecol. 7, 93-110.Google Scholar
  30. Huerta, E. E. and Macario, E.: 1999, 'Communicating health risk to ethnic groups: Reaching Hispanics as a case study', J. Nat. Canc. Inst., Monogr. 25, 23-36.Google Scholar
  31. Kaiser, E. J., Godschalk, D. and Chapin Jr, F. S.: 1995, Urban Land Use Planning, 4th ed., Univ. Illinois Press, Urbana, IL.Google Scholar
  32. Kanagy, C. L., Humphrey, C. R. and Firebaugh, G.: 1994, 'Surging environmentalism: Changing public opinion or changing publics?', Soc. Sci. Quart. 75, 804-819.Google Scholar
  33. McCay, B. J.: 1995, 'The ocean commons and community', Dalhousie Rev. 74, 1-29.Google Scholar
  34. McCay, B. J. and Acheson, J. M (eds): 1987, The Question of the Commons: the Culture and Ecology of Communal Resources, Univ. Arizona Press, Tuczon.Google Scholar
  35. Miller, S., Rein, M. and Levitt, P.: 1990, 'Community action in the United States', Comm. Dev. J. 25, 356-368.Google Scholar
  36. New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science and Research (NJDEP): 1994, A Guide to Health Advisories for Eating Fish and Crabs in New Jersey, New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Science and Research, Trenton, NJ.Google Scholar
  37. Matsil, M. A.: 2001, 'Protecting and restoring urban watersheds: conserving biodiversity in the New York/New Jersey Harbor Estuary', Coastlines 11(1), 4-5.Google Scholar
  38. Montalvo, A. M., Williams, S. L., Rice, R. J., Buchmann, S. L., Cory, C., Handel, S. N., Nabhan, G. P., Primack, R. and Robichaux, R. H.: 1997, 'Restoration biology: A population biology perspective', Restor. Ecol. 5, 277-290.Google Scholar
  39. National Research Council: 1996, Understanding Risk: Informing Decisions in a Democratic Society, National Academy Press, Washington, DC.Google Scholar
  40. New York City Department of Environmental Protection Health (NYCDEP): 2001, New York Harbor Water Quality: Regional Summary, NYCDEP, New York, NY.Google Scholar
  41. New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH): 1994, 1994-1995 Health Advisories: Chemicals in Sportfish or Game, New York State Department of Health, Bureau of Toxic Substance Assessment, NY.Google Scholar
  42. Norse, E. A. (ed.): 1993, Global Marine Biological Diversity Strategy: Building Conservation into Decision Making, Center for Marine Conservation, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  43. O'Connor, R. E., Bord, R. J. and Pflugh, K. K.: 1994, 'The two faces of coastal environmentalism: Environmental protection and development on Cape May', Coast. Manage. 22, 183-194.Google Scholar
  44. O'Connor, T. P. and Ehler, C. N.: 1991, 'Results from the NOAA national status and trends program on distribution and effects of chemical contamination in the coastal and estuarine United States', Environ. Monit. Assess. 17, 33-49.Google Scholar
  45. Pflugh, K. K., Lurig, L., vonHagen, L. A., von Hagen, S., and Burger, J.: 1999, 'Urban angler's perceptions of risk from contaminated fish', Sci. Total Envir. 228, 203-218.Google Scholar
  46. Roberts, L. (ed.): 1996, World Resources (1996-1997), Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK.Google Scholar
  47. Statistical Analysis System (SAS): 1995, SAS Users' Guide, Statistical Institute, Inc. Cary, NC.Google Scholar
  48. Squibb, K. S.: 1992, 'Overview of toxics in the harbor estuary', Tidal Exchange 3, 1-2.Google Scholar
  49. Toth Jr., J. F. and Brown, R. B.: 1997, 'Racial and gender meanings of why people participate in recreational fishing', Leis. Sci. 19, 129-146.Google Scholar
  50. Van Liere, K. D. and Dunlap, R. E.: 1980, 'The social bases of environmental concern: A review of hypotheses, explanations and empirical evidence', Publ. Opinion Quart. 44, 181-197.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Life Sciences, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, Center for Urban Restoration EcologyRutgers UniversityPiscatawayU.S.A.

Personalised recommendations