Article Assesses Extent of Ecosystem-Based Management Use in the Federal Government

Friday, September 4, 2015

In the United States, management of marine and coastal resources has moved towards ecosystem-based management (EBM), which is a more systematic and integrated approach than conventional (e.g., single sector or single species) approaches. This paper summarizes the status of EBM for federal programs under the agencies of the National Ocean Council that implement or support marine and coastal EBM activities. Using social network analysis techniques, including network visualization, cohesion measures, programs degree and betweenness centrality, similarities among programs in different topic areas (e.g., type of audience, partners, training, EBM best management practices and principles) were explored. Results highlight substantial differences in perceived and effective performances across programs, with Management programs showing a higher level of integration of EBM approaches than Non-Management programs. The use of EBM best management practices and principles among programs is unbalanced, with some key elements of EBM strategies less commonly employed in the management planning. This analysis identified gaps in the implementation of EBM strategies that can inform natural resource managers and other interested parties. This paper presents the results of the analysis and discusses the implications for the implementation of EBM approaches and strategies at the federal level. The full text can be accessed here

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