ERIC Number: ED424049
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1995-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
Building Community Based Initiatives in Rural Coastal Communities. Staff Paper 95.2.
Behr, Chris; Lamb, Greg; Miller, Al; Sadowske, Sue; Shaffer, Ron
In rural coastal communities, trade-offs between conserving and developing environmentally sensitive resources are acute. At the community level, part-time volunteers and citizen officials are asked to make complex decisions based on ambiguous and frequently contradictory "scientific" evidence of economic and environmental relationships. The conditions surrounding these decisions often are characterized by limited access to information and conflict about the choices available and their consequences. This paper summarizes one community's efforts to integrate technical and social-economic information in a series of educational events leading to informed community consensus about the use of the community's waterfront. In Oconto, Wisconsin, on Lake Michigan's Green Bay, the waterfront is a fragile wetland resource that could be used in several different and potentially conflicting ways. A University of Wisconsin extension team that has provided development assistance to the area for the past decade undertook to facilitate the community's discussions of competing options. The team moved away from the conventional model of community intervention to one featuring emergent and flexible design, cyclic process, synergy between external and indigenous knowledge, holistic approach, and inclusion of diverse interests. The project demonstrated that judicious use of community surveys; a "locally acceptable" facilitator; a local advisory committee; and the cyclic process of asking, listening, analyzing, and reporting can identify local preferences and generate community energy for specific options. Contains 23 references. (SV)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: Wisconsin Univ., Madison. Univ. Extension.Center for Community Economic Development.