Integrated Estuary Governance

45 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 455 (2021)

University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 21-20

81 Pages Posted: 14 May 2021 Last revised: 11 Sep 2021

See all articles by Mary Jane Angelo

Mary Jane Angelo

University of Florida Levin College of Law

J.W. Glass

Center for Biological Diversity; University of Florida Levin College of Law

Date Written: 2021

Abstract

Estuaries are complex, dynamic ecosystems that play a critical role in supporting crucial economic industries, such as commercial fishing and tourism, and providing the resources necessary to sustain coastal communities. A range of anthropogenic environmental stressors are threatening the health of estuaries throughout the world. Traditional top-down single resource focused environmental regulatory approaches have proved inadequate to protect and restore estuarine systems. In recent years, scientific and legal academics, as well as policymakers, have called for more holistic participatory approaches to addressing environmental challenges. Drawing on the literature on ecosystem management, integrated water resources management, collaborative governance, and adaptive management, we offer a new approach, which we refer to as Integrated Estuary Governance. Our proposal incorporates elements of other approaches that have been demonstrated to be essential in managing natural systems in general and that have particular applicability to estuarine systems.

Through in-depth case studies, we examine existing estuary programs established pursuant to the Clean Water Act’s National Estuary Program through the lens of Integrated Estuary Governance. This evaluation reveals a strong link between successful estuary management and the employment of a robust Integrated Estuary Governance approach. Extrapolation of this approach to other estuary management programs, and to other ecosystem management programs in general, in a deliberative and methodical fashion may result in greater success in protecting, managing, and restoring important ecological resources while, at the same time, ensuring that community social and economic values are protected.

Keywords: Environmental Law, Ecosystem Management, Watershed Management, Estuaries, Coasts, Florida, Clean Water Act of 1977, Conservation of Natural Resources

Suggested Citation

Angelo, Mary Jane and Glass, J.W., Integrated Estuary Governance (2021). 45 Wm. & Mary Envtl. L. & Pol’y Rev. 455 (2021), University of Florida Levin College of Law Research Paper No. 21-20, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3844120

Mary Jane Angelo (Contact Author)

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States
352-273-0944 (Phone)
352-392-3005 (Fax)

J.W. Glass

Center for Biological Diversity ( email )

P.O. Box 710
Tucson, AZ 85702-0710
United States

University of Florida Levin College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 117625
Gainesville, FL 32611-7625
United States

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