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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Ecosystem-based management

Ecosystem-based management is an environmental management approach that looks at all the links among living and nonliving resources within an ecosystem, rather than considering single issues in isolation. It is most often applied towards coastal-marine systems and interactions. This system of management considers human activities, their benefits, and their potential impacts within the context of the broader biological and physical environment. Instead of developing a management plan for one issue (such as a commercial fishery or an individual source of pollution), ecosystem-based management focuses on the multiple activities occurring within specific areas that are defined by ecosystem, rather than political, boundaries. Because of the connection between land-based activities and ocean conditions, an appropriate geographic boundary for ecosystem-based management of ocean areas might combine all or part of a large marine ecosystem with the watersheds that drain into it.

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