Stakeholders’ perceptions of social and environmental changes affecting Everglades National Park in South Florida

Yunseon Choe, Michael A. Schuett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Urban sprawl and population growth have altered the landscape in the U.S in recent decades. Protected areas and development are compatible lenses, yet stakeholders’ involvement in decision-making is often missing from environmental governance. Knowing how managers and stakeholders work together is also necessary to capture the meanings and feelings that local communities and various groups might have about a park and its ecosystem. The purpose of this study was to examine how stakeholders living and working in proximity to Everglades National Park (EVER) perceive environmental and social changes to the park and community relations. Data collection involved 41 interviews with stakeholders who have interacted with EVER, e.g., consumers, NGOs, federal agencies, state/local governments, businesses, and scientists. The in-person, semi-structured interviews were conducted using snowball sampling. These data were generated using three methods: field notes, audio recordings, and transcripts. An analysis of the interview data generated six research themes: loss of native species, urban development, a shortage and contamination of water, hurricanes, climate change, and increased recreation use. The results of this study add to the literature by providing a better understanding of the relationships stakeholders have with national parks. The results will provide useable knowledge that may help stakeholders and public land managers design strategies for sustainable plans for the park and its surrounding communities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100524
JournalEnvironmental Development
Volume35
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2020

Keywords

  • Everglades National Park
  • Participatory engagement
  • Relationships
  • Social and environmental changes
  • Stakeholders' perceptions
  • Sustainable management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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