Marine science for strategic planning and management: the requirement for estuaries
Marine Policy, 26, (3), . (doi:10.1016/S0308-597X(02)00003-9).
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Achieving such a programme will need to take advantage of research at a number of different spatial and temporal scales. These span from global climate change initiatives, through catchment and estuary wide studies to work on specific features (banks, mudflats, etc.). They necessarily consider changes over time scales of seconds to aeons. Realistically, for strategic planning and management, the goal is to be able to predict, with a reasonable degree of confidence over a 20–50 year time horizon. Given the highly non-linear and complex adaptive nature of estuary systems, absolute predictions may not be possible. Rather, it will be necessary to identify probable/possible outcomes, or system states, as a basis for guiding management actions. This, in itself, will require managers and planners to move away from a prescriptive interventionist approach towards a more adaptive one.
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