Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8481
Title: Sense of Place: Human Well-being Considerations for Ecological Restoration in Puget Sound
Author: Melissa R. Poe, Jamie Donatuto, Terre Satterfield
Publication Year: 2016
Journal: Coastal Management
Keywords: sense of place, cultural ecosystem services, shellfish harvesting, well-being, restoration,

Sense of place is increasingly recognized as key to human wellbeing in social-ecological systems. Yet there is limited understanding about how to define and evaluate it for restoration. Here, we examine the connections between sense of place and human well-being for Puget Sound restoration in the context of shellfish harvesting and other shoreline activities. Using semi-structured interviews and guided workshops with tribal and non-tribal residents, we examined sense of place in two regions of Puget Sound. Empirical results show that people’s meanings of sense of place are multi-dimensional and derived from: 1) activities in the near-shore; 2) the practice of cultural and familial heritage; 3) sensory and emotional experiences; and, 4) the maintenance and thickening of social connections. We also found that three conditions play important roles in enabling and fostering place attachment: access, knowledge, and ecological integrity. Improved understanding of a practice-based sense of place is key to the success of creating and enacting successful, resident-supported restoration activities.

Theme: Sustainable, safe and secure seafood for healthy populations and vibrant communities
Foci: Support collaborative community-based data collection, dissemination, and analysis for fishers, fisheries management, science, marketing, seafood safety, and education