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Managing Wastewater in Coastal Urban Areas
tions from different sectors of the community. It is seemingly simple but sometimes difficult to identify the important issues relative to wastewater in our coastal environment. This difficulty is due in part to our ignorance of all the goods, services, and other values the coastal environment provides and in part to our individual goals, biases, and perceptions. Coastal resources are, for the most part, a public commons. It is therefore very important that the dynamic planning process be an open and public one that involves all sectors of the communities that may be affected.
The first step in setting goals for coastal resources in a region is to identify and inventory those resources. This inventory should take a broad interpretation of what may be considered resources in order to arrive at a truly comprehensive starting point for integrated coastal management. It should encompass both the natural and the built environment.
The most obvious resources of a region may be recreational areas (e.g., areas for boating, swimming, scuba diving, surfing) and fisheries. Also of importance would be ecological habitat, birds, wildlife, areas for aesthetic enjoyment, and other environmental attributes. Ports, shipping channels, and other features of the built environment should be included in the inventory as well.
Review Existing Scientific Knowledge
It is important that the goal-setting process be informed by the best available scientific information for a region. The point of this step of the process is to understand what is known about a region as well as to identify what is not known. This review should also serve to bring all participants in the goal-setting process to some common understanding of what is known about a region's resources and environmental characteristics and processes. However, incomplete and imperfect scientific knowledge is not an excuse for delaying action until more research is done. The ICM process should be used to determine if reasonable management decisions can be made, based on existing knowledge.
Assess Human Expectations
A key to the success of dynamic planning is the development of an adequate understanding of human expectations for coastal resources. Expectations may differ considerably from person to person. Often these different perspectives will identify issues that are quite different. Although there may be conflicting objectives or goals behind the issues, frequently