Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts in Marine Affairs


The purpose of this research is to identify the attitudes, beliefs and values of the local Samana people concerning the Samana Bay marine resources and then integrate these results into suggestions for improving coastal zone management. This information will be of use for project development by the Washington, D.C. based non-profit organization the Center for Marine Conservation (CMC) and the Dominican non-profit organization Center for the Conservation and Eco Development for Samana Bay and its Surroundings (CEBSE) as well as for the regional biosphere reserve management plan. The first objective of the research is to provide a socioeconomic description of the fisheries and tourist industries in Samana. This provides a context for analysis of the attitudinal data. The second objective is to describe community member's concerns and conflicts relating to the marine environment. This information was primarily collected through a survey questionnaire. The third objective is to analyze the relationship between the socioeconomic and environmental perception variables. The fourth objective is to use this information to provide recommendations to different levels of society including the resource users as well as government officials. It is hypothesized that variance in environmental attitudes, beliefs and values will be related to different community sectors (e.g. fishermen, farmers, etc.). Identification of the correlates of this variance can be used to produce recommendations and projects which will more effectively achieve sustainability within the region. Efforts such as this have provided valid in other natural resource management projects (Pollnac 1990; Well and White 1990). Major recommendations which are supported by the research results include providing institution building for CEBSE and providing the community with the ability to improve the fishing and tourist industries. This empowerment should be developed through improving communication and organization, increasing educational opportunities and promoting research to identify technical and behavioral alternatives. it is also recommended that efforts be made to involve the young people of the community in all aspects of the recommendations.