Ecological and Societal Benefits Derived from Coastal Restoration in Southern Louisiana

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Atkinson, Donald Lowell
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This project examines specific coastal restoration projects in southern Louisiana to develop a method for determining which kinds of projects will most likely enhance the socioeconomic conditions of the surrounding region through physical improvement of the habitat. By applying an extensive review of the literature, examination of project compliance documents, and analysis of secondary data characterizing the well-being of parishes near selected restoration projects, I explored, conceptualized, and confirmed the relationship between specific, local ecosystem services (e.g. provisioning, regulating, supporting, cultural services) and various elements of human well-being (e.g. health, safety, economic security) impacted by four restoration projects and their respective restoration techniques: dredged material placement, sediment diversion, and artificial oyster reefs. Finally, I developed a qualitative evaluation matrix by which these projects and techniques were analyzed for their potential benefit to regional ecosystem services, and - through associations previously established on the national and regional scale - I made connections between these enhanced ecological services and the impact on community well-being.
Thesis (M.S.) College of Charleston, South Carolina-The Graduate School, 2012
Committee members: Susan P Lovelace, Maria K Dillard, Howard Schnabolk, Kendra Stewart
Ecology, Environmental management