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Coastal Management Journal Theme Issue
The Coastal Society and Coastal Management Journal are publishing a special theme issue, "Applying Ecosystem Services to the Practice of Coastal Management: Understanding Values." Ecosystem services is, at once, a framework for interdisciplinary collaboration, a suite of methods for revealing social and economic values attached to natural or cultural resources, and an approach useful in helping to make informed decisions about such things as coastal protection and restoration. It has been consistently gaining traction across federal agencies and through multiple administrations as a preferred framework and approach for federal science, culminating in a White House Executive Order, the launch of the National Ecosystem Services Partnership, and the development of multi-agency guidance. Ecosystem services projects, at their core, include ecological research, social science research, and stakeholder engagement. Regional advances in applying an ecosystem services approach vary from protection and restoration investment choices in the Great Lakes or post-Superstorm Sandy in the Mid-Atlantic, to climate change driven sea level rise adaptation scenarios for marine coastal communities, to ecosystem-wide monetary value calculations. Challenges with implementing an ecosystem services approach include building and maintaining successful interdisciplinary teams, juggling quantitative versus qualitative valuations or descriptions, and determining how to visually depict the non-quantitative or not easily map-able. A core challenge for coastal management practitioners is how to include stakeholder engagement within the context of this approach, and how to factor end-user needs into products and processes.
This special issue calls for coastal management practitioners and scholars to either share their experiences, or analyze and critique those of others, in exploring and applying ecosystem services approaches to the challenges that they face. The issue will draw upon the expertise of attendees at the 2016 Restore America's Estuaries - The Coastal Society Summit, a diverse group of experts offering presentations and posters on a broad range of coastal management topics. How has the ecosystem services framework or approach been used? What methods of valuation were implemented and why? What challenges were experienced using ecosystem services for examining cultural or natural services and what recommendations were derived from this experience? How was decision-making informed differently through utilizing these approaches? What suggestions do practitioners have for better incorporating results into the decision-making process? How might the ES approach be used to both advance science and improve its use in management?
This special thematic issue will frame ecosystem services approaches, explore the various methodologies and their applications, and explore regional examples from the field. Papers will be drawn from the 2016 RAE-TCS Summit as well as related work not presented at the Summit. Final theme issue publication date is anticipated to be late 2017 or early 2018.
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