Evaluating Florida's Coastal Protected Areas: A Model for Coastal Management Plan Evaluation
Bernhardt, Sarah Praeger
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This research presents the first coastal and marine protected areas specific quantitative management plan evaluation protocol. This critical research gap in the coastal and marine protected area (CMPA) research literature was addressed by creating a protocol for evaluating CMPA plan quality utilizing a combination of marine protected area (MPA) and land use planning techniques for the first time, then applying it to a sample of CMPAs providing both descriptive results of CMPA plan quality and analysis of factors that might influence plan quality. A sample of CMPAs (n=40) under the jurisdiction of Florida?s Coastal and Aquatic Managed Areas (CAMA) was evaluated for plan quality using 96 indicators scored as 0, 1, or 2 and then divided into five plan components: factual basis, goals and objectives, policies, tools and strategies, inter-governmental coordination and cooperation, and implementation and monitoring. Total CMPA plan quality averaged 29.40 out of a possible 50.00. CMPA plan quality ranged from 20.00 to 47.00 with a standard deviation of 7.07. Regression analysis examined the effects of CMPA context, participation, environmental threats and socioeconomic factors on CMPA plan quality. The age of CMPA plans was found to be a significant indicator of CMPA plan quality. Other significant indicators of plan quality included threatened biodiversity, participation, and percent of adjacent developed or agricultural land.