Strategic Approach to Estuarine Environmental Management

by David A. Bella, (M.ASCE), Assoc. Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Oregon State Univ., Corvallis, Oreg.,

Serial Information: Journal of the Waterways, Harbors and Coastal Engineering Division, 1975, Vol. 101, Issue 1, Pg. 73-92

Document Type: Journal Paper


It is reasoned that ecological systems must be examined from a spectrum of views ranging from those of high perspective-low detail to those of low perspective-high detail. Such a spectrum should provide complimentary views of real world systems the true nature of which is beyond our capacity to perceive. A high perspective low detail view is employed to examine the organization, function, and requirements of whole estuarine systems. A number of concerns pertinent to comprehensive environmental planning of estuaries are identified. A planning approach is presented that calls for the uneven distribution of development activities among Oregon's estuarine systems. This approach places a high value on environmental variety, including a wide range of undeveloped ecosystems. Cluster communities with intervening open space are called for within systems selected for development. A number of methods, concerns, and problems related to the implementation of this approach are identified. Although the approach is recommended for Oregon's estuaries, emphasis is given to general concepts that have wider applicability.

Subject Headings: Estuaries | Environmental issues | Ecosystems | Organizations

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