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Using Public Participation Geographic Information Systems to Identify Watershed Services. Cody Cox Wayde Morse, Christopher Anderson, and Luke Marzen Auburn University. Background. Shift in natural resource management philosophy from expert driven to collaborative approach
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Using Public Participation Geographic Information Systems to Identify Watershed Services Cody Cox Wayde Morse, Christopher Anderson, and Luke Marzen Auburn University
Background • Shift in natural resource management philosophy from expert driven to collaborative approach • Need for research on participatory decision making • Need to capture and incorporate spatial data on stakeholder management preferences for comparison with other spatial data
Introduction to PPGIS • Public Participation Geographic Information Systems (PPGIS) • Developed in 1996 • Captures local values, knowledge, and preferences • Used to spatially identify important places for stakeholders
Project Objectives • Determine whether a representative sample of the general public can spatially conceptualize and identify places of ecosystem service provisioning for specific services • Assess the spatial accuracy of these PPGIS results to understand how this information can be used to inform decision making • Identify threats to places of ecosystem service provisioning from water pollution
Study Area • Mobile Bay, AL (Baldwin and Mobile counties) • 4,600 square miles • Mixed urban and rural landscape • Variety of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems Citronelle Bay Minette Mobile Co. Mobile Baldwin Co. Fairhope Bayou La Batre Mobile Bay Orange Beach Dauphin Island Gulf Shores
Survey Methodology • Dillman method: • Pre-notice letter • Survey packet • Reminder postcard • Reminder letter • 988 survey packets sent to randomly selected residents • 274 received (27.7% response rate)
Questionnaire 6 parts • Bay knowledge and length of residence • Participation in outdoor recreation activities • Opinions on a range of wildlife, water, and development issues • Satisfaction with a range of regional characteristics • A PPGIS mapping activity • Demographic information
PPGIS Implementation • Participants used color-coded 0.25 inch stickers to identify places on a map of the study area that they think are important for a range of natural resource management topics, including places that provide watershed services
PPGIS Mapping Exercise • Example completed map • 87 possible points • 24 x 36 in. • True color aerial imagery • Scale: 1:150,000
PPGIS Mapping Results • Results from 242 respondents (88% of survey respondents) • 11,391 points • Mean: 47.07 points per respondent
Ecosystem Service Choice Rationale • Ecosystem services are any benefits that humans derive from ecosystems • Services provided by watersheds • General enough to be understood by public • Spatially explicit • Provided by large portions of study area • Regularly impact residents of the Mobile Bay region
Watershed Services Image courtesy of NOAA Storm Protection Water Quality Protection Fish Nursery Flood Protection
Water Pollution 664 points identified Hotspot area: 80.98 mi2
Water Pollution Perceptions • PPGIS hotspots located around listed polluted streams • Except for Dog River, which should be further investigated by managers
Water Pollution Threats Area of overlap: 1.54 mi2 Area of overlap: 1.54 mi2
Management Implications • PPGIS is a useful tool for natural resource management • Highlights places with strong stakeholder support for protection • Helps identify knowledge gaps for outreach education efforts • PPGIS should be used in conjunction with other data to create a more well-rounded decision; it does not replace them • Data from this study are being used by the Mobile Bay National Estuary Program
Acknowledgements • Funding for this project was generously provided by • Mobile Bay National Estuary Program • U.S. Forest Service