Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Community Planning

First Advisor

Rolf Pendall


Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) is a process that unites government and the community, science and management, sectoral and pubic interests to wisely protect and develop coastal ecosystems and resources. As funding for ICM continues to increase, investments are often made quickly, without adequate consultation with the stakeholders and host institutions. This can lead to programs and projects that lack focus and outstrip the host institution's capacity and capabilities. By thinking strategically about the current coastal management problems and pressures and developing a strategy document using an organized and strategic process, investment can be made wisely and at a scale that is sensible for the existing situation. Without this strategic thinking at the beginning of, and throughout the ICM process, investment in an institution is often made regardless of the institution's capacity to absorb the investment and is often directed at problems or pressures that have little salience to the local population or cannot be solved by the existing institutional structure. However, this strategic thinking must be done within the framework of a larger, more comprehensive process that attempts to achieve sustainable use of coastal resources over the long term. Therefore, it appears that for ICM to be successful, it must balance both strategic and comprehensive planning approaches.

This paper will demonstrate that ICM shares many of the attributes that are contained in contemporary comprehensive planning as described by Kaiser and Godschalk (1995) and Innes (1996). It will also show that ICM includes many of the critical attributes of strategic planning as described by Bryson (1988). Based on a review of current literature about comprehensive and strategic planning, this paper will highlight the areas where ICM supports the contemporary approach to comprehensive planning and will make a link between strategic planning, contemporary comprehensive planning and ICM. This paper will also describe how ICM was initiated in East Africa and how the contemporary/strategic approach to planning was used in that project which was conducted by the Coastal Resources Center (CRC) at the University of Rhode Island. A secondary objective of this paper is to document the approach and intervention techniques used in the East Africa ICM project.