Overlooked Tools that Build Coastal Constituencies

by Shirley Taylor, Sierra Club Natl Coastal Committee, Tallahassee, FL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Coastal Zone '87


The need for public involvement was recognized by the authors of the original Coastal Zone Management Act in 1972. Detailed requirements and recommendations were set forth on Public participation in the development and adoption of state coastal programs. With the 1980 CZMA amendments, a more forceful cooperative role and responsibility for the public was clearly stated. However there has been only federal silence in the eighties except for regulations relating to 312 evaluation procedures. Today there are important opportunities for both state coastal managers and concerned citizens to build cooperative and productive relationships with the common goal of stronger and improved coastal programs. An important but largely overlooked tool which can be of importance is citizen networking. Networks and their characteristics are discussed. An additional way of developing coastal constituencies and active public assistance is through national public interest organizations with their own issue networks, such as the example of Sierra Club.

Subject Headings: Coastal environment | Team building | Public policy | Federal government | Managers | Coastal engineering | Social factors | Public participation

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