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How the community value of ecosystem goods and services empowers communities to impact the outcomes of remediation, restoration, and revitalization projects
Williams, K., Dave Bolgrien, AND J. Hoffman. How the community value of ecosystem goods and services empowers communities to impact the outcomes of remediation, restoration, and revitalization projects. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC, EPA/600/R-17/292, 2018.
This documents reports the results of a REgional Environmental Science and Sustainability (RESES) research project investigating the process of Remediation to Restoration to Revitalization in Great Lakes Areas of Concern (AOC) through a case study of the St. Louis River AOC and City of Duluth revitalization.
Remediation to Restoration to Revitalization (R2R2R) is a place-based practice that requires ongoing communication amongst agencies, local governments, and citizens. Each of these entities have different relationships with and responsibilities to sites where R2R2R progresses. Sediment remediation and habitat restoration project goals, community planning, and lived experiences diverge depending on the agency or individual, and can make collaboration or communication difficult. To better understand the dynamics of R2R2R, data were collected between June 2015 and December 2016 and analyzed through content analysis as a first step. Participant observation was conducted at AOC management, St. Louis River Habitat Committee, City of Duluth St. Louis River Technical Advisory Committee, and City of Duluth St. Louis River Corridor park planning public meetings, as well as community group meetings. In addition to regular attendance at meetings and document analysis, ongoing consultation with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, City of Duluth, and USEPA Region 5 and Great Lakes National Program Office officials provided opportunities for consideration of partner research interests, as well as dissemination of findings. Themes that emerged in the analysis as forces that shaped decisions, participation and the inclusion of stakeholders and the public values were: disconnected and isolated decision contexts, variable opportunities for citizen input, opportunities to share knowledge embedded in practical settings, an educational approach to reducing barriers, and the importance of boundary spanning. Because both tools and people are important to spanning institutional and thematic boundaries, we developed a framework to sort and classify data and identify ecosystem services collected through inductive methods like participant observation and document analysis. The framework emerged from the analysis includes neighborhood components that individuals, organizations, agencies, and local governments may discuss in the context of a physical space. The characteristics included in the tool are a mix of built environment types, structural dimensions, personal experiences, and human-environment relationships and include: parks/open spaces, trails or connections, housing, schools, infrastructure, local businesses, macro-economy, natural features, governmental rules or regulations, demographics/crime statistics/health care facilities, safety, self-determination or participation, identity, social cohesion, sustainability, and aesthetics. We intend this framework to be utilized as a “decoder ring” to interpret distinct values and facilitate communication or comparison across boundaries of experience or responsibility.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/REPORT)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY
MID-CONTINENT ECOLOGY DIVISION