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Conflict on the Coast: Using Geographic Information Systems to Map Potential Environmental Disputes in Matagorda Bay, Texas

Publication Type : Journal Article

Source : Environmental Management, 2004

Campus : Amritapuri

School : School for Sustainable Futures

Department : Sustainable Development

Year : 2006

Abstract : The sustainable management of coastal natural resources inevitably involves identifying stakeholder conflicts and developing planning processes that prevent these conflicts from becoming intractable disputes. This study links environmental conflict to specific areas within a large ecological system. Specifically, we use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to map potentially competing stakeholder values associated with establishing protected areas in Matagorda Bay, Texas. By overlaying multiple values associated with a range of stakeholders across space, we are able to identify hotspots of potential conflict as well as areas of opportunity for maximizing joint gains. Mapping stakeholder conflict is an approach to proactively locate potential controversy in response to a specific environmental management proposal and guide decision makers in crafting planning processes that mitigate the possibility of intractable disputes and facilitate the implementation of sustainable coastal policies. Results indicate that under different management scenarios, protected area proposals will generate more conflict in specific areas. Most notably, regulated uses would produce the greatest degree of conflict on or near shore, particularly at the mouth of the Colorado River. Additionally, of all the management scenarios evaluated, the prohibition of coastal structural development would generate the overall highest level of conflict within the Bay. Based on the results, we discuss the policy implications for environmental managers and provide guidance for future research on location-based conflict management within the coastal margin.

Cite this Research Publication : Samuel D. Brody, Wes Highfield, Sudha Arlikatti, David H. Bierling, Roubabah M. Ismailova, Lai Lee & Rachel Butzler "Conflict on the Coast: Using Geographic Information Systems to Map Potential Environmental Disputes in Matagorda Bay, Texas", Environmental Management, 2004

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