A role for comprehensive planning, geographical information system (GIS) technologies and program evaluation in aquatic habitat development

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Planning for artificial aquatic habitat development has typically occurred within the biological community. This paper traces the evolution of planning framework, and proposes the use of traditional urban and regional planning concepts in artificial aquatic habitat management. Aquatic habitat planning in the US as interpreted by states and regional fisheries commissions, exist merely at the project level and has not suitably evolved. A comprehensive systems framework is proposed which considers the role of onshore infrastructural support and offshore user and non-user considerations. The use of geographical information system (GIS) technology and its overall utility in planning and evaluation processes is discussed. A tradtional focus on exclusion or negative constraints represents only an initial set of considerations, but must be followed with an inclusive analysis which identifies intended sanctuary or human uses within marine habitat priority zones. Evaluation activities within habitat mangement are traditionally based on biological dynamics and are executed on a site by site basis. The need exists to demonstrate intended habitat and fishery management benefits on a state or regional basis. -from Author

Publication Title

Bulletin of Marine Science





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