Understanding and Assessing Impacts
It is important to first note that this project was initiated by WCA through a desire to create a marine spatial plan for the region. It is not immediately clear what the impetus for the creation of the marine spatial plan was, however, various case studies related to the project have shown that this planning work can have the effect of increasing resiliency to storm surges, improve or maintain water quality, maintain livelihoods and reduce conflict amongst multiple users. The case studies gathered information through a variety of stakeholders to create understandings of the baseline conditions in a given area. Variables were then altered based on the desired ocean use changes of those involved (for more on this process see ‘Identifying Actions’ section below). The case studies note that extreme storm events and the effects of storm surges are a concern in the WCVI area. Much consideration was put into retaining or strengthening natural storm buffering throughout communal mapping exercises and public consultation. Understanding the risks and impacts in the case of coastal ecosystems can become challenging as many ecosystem services are dependent to some degree on the other. A lack of communication between relevant actors could further confuse a situation. Software created to make explicit these relationships and to quantify ecosystem services paired with appropriate outreach could work to clarify these risks and impacts.