Ecosystem-based management in practice

The director of the University of Maine Darling Marine Center says ecosystem-based approaches to restore ocean health provide a flexible framework for marine management and allow scientists and stakeholders to move beyond reactive and piecemeal solutions.

“Ecosystem-based management (EBM) accounts for the diverse connections between people and oceans and the trade-offs inherent in managing for multiple uses,” says Heather Leslie, who reviewed six EBM projects in the article “Learning from Ecosystem-Based Management in Practice” in the Oct. 14 issue of Coastal Management.

As EBM efforts mature, Leslie said it will be important to ensure solid connections between researchers and those on the front lines of managing people’s interactions with coastal and marine environments.

Researchers leading innovative projects at Pacific Ocean sites (two in California, two in Mexico, one in Fiji and one in Palau) adapted EBM principles to match each locale’s combination of challenges and circumstances.

Through site visits, analysis of project documents and more than 100 interviews, Leslie’s team examined how similarities and differences among the sites shaped implementation.

“Ecosystem-based management, even five years after being called out as the cornerstone of the U.S. National Ocean Policy, is still a fairly new way of doing business. It will be exciting to see what innovations emerge in the coming years,” said Leslie. Read more… 

Please contact Dr. Leslie for a copy of the article.

Click here for a full list of Leslie’s EBM-related Publications.