Participatory GIS mapping highlights indirect use and existence values of coastal resources and marine conservation areas
Consideration of social and cultural dimensions in coastal and marine planning has increased and ecosystem services provide important framing to investigate values and priorities associated with these systems. Research efforts in coastal communities offer insights on social dimensions of ocean and coastal management decisions, but questions remain about how demographics and geographic residence affect perceptions of marine resources and management. We conducted and analyzed a public participation geographic information system (PPGIS)mapping survey of Oregon residents to capture uses and perceived values of coastal and marine areas. We measured coastal values, explored regional differences in those values, and identified a suite of coastal and marine ecosystem services that Oregonians prioritize from the recently established marine reserve network.
Examining respondent demographics, conservation values, and coastal geographic features, we discovered values varied by region in Oregon, with regions demonstrating distinct value orientations. Regional differences in value orientation highlight the importance of incorporating multiple interpretations of value into coastal resource communication strategies, and the consequence of coastal proximity on attitudes and values about coastal resources. Incorporating use (indirect and direct) and non-use (existence) values into a Total Economic Value framework revealed that participants prioritized indirect use (scenic, recreation) over direct use and existence values coastwide. Spatial variation of participant’s use and value locations demonstrates the utility of participatory mapping in marine spatial planning efforts, both in documenting spatially explicit non-market values of coastal areas and identifying potential areas of conflict among coastal stakeholder groups. Within Oregon’s marine reserve network, which was not delineated in the mapping exercise, value preferences diverged from coastwide averages, wherein existence values (biodiversity/wildlife, wilderness, etc.) were elevated above other categories.
Authors: Kaegan M.Scully-Engelmeyer, Elise F.Granek, Max Nielsen-Pincus, Greg Brown