Building Local Community Commitment to Wetland Restoration

Davenport, MA; Bridges, CA; Mangun, JC; et al. Building Local Community Commitment to Wetlands Restoration: A Case Study of the Cache River Wetlands in Southern Illinois, USA ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT, 45 (4): 711-722 APR 2010

The authors emphasize the need to incorporate cultural and economic goals (along with ecological goals) in restoration projects in order to successfully generate community-based support for wetland restoration. These goals could include performance measures for environmental education, expanded recreation opportunities, and volunteer programs. Projects could also track grants and donations secured, land owner cost share, training opportunities provide. The authors also emphasize that ecosystem service related cost-savings estimates (flood regulations, clean water and air, human health) should also be incorporated into restoration planning. The authors conclude that focusing only on the ecological goals will reduce broader community’s interest and participation.
The authors state that their “place-based context specific study of human dimension of wetland restoration and findings… may not be generalizable to communities and wetlands with dissimilar social-ecological characteristics.” However, I found immediate relation to their findings with several of the restoration projects I have worked on in a variety of ecosystems in California.

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