Date of Award

2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs

Department

Marine Affairs

First Advisor

Austin Becker

Abstract

Increased storm intensity combined with rising sea levels and increased erosion will likely create new challenges for marina owners and policy makers. Climate change poses threats to infrastructure, navigability, and the general aesthetics of a marina. Observations show little action has been taken by Rhode Island marina owners towards increasing resilience to climate change, leaving the Rhode Island industry vulnerable.

This study investigates the perceptions and priorities of ten Rhode Island marina owners to gauge their priorities and perceptions towards increasing resilience at their facility to rising sea levels and future storms. Interviews were conducted with ten marina owners to address four research questions designed to examine why marina owners may or may not be adapting to climate change.

Results indicated that many marina owners do not have future expansion plans, which can limit the implementation of adaptation measures. Many marina owners interviewed do not believe the science behind climate change and do not directly see the impacts, therefore are not concerned. All the interviewees also believed it was the owners responsibility to prepare for storms and indicated they do not want outside assistance. Finally, the fourth conclusion indicates resilient marinas benefit the entire community, rather than individuals and groups directly related.

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