Document Type

Thesis

Degree

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Environmental Studies

Advisor's Name

Joel T. Heinen

Advisor's Title

Committee Chair

Advisor's Name

Ligia Collado-Vides

Advisor's Name

Pallab Mozumder

Keywords

Marine Protected Areas, Marine Conservation, Attitudes, Social, Knowledge, Demographics

Date of Defense

11-2-2011

Abstract

This thesis research analyzed the perceptions of local community residents in Puerto Morelos, Mx., and its affect on the National Marine Park. Social and economic factors affecting the level of support for the marine park were evaluated. Formal semi-structured written surveys were conducted with stakeholders in two major sub-regions affected by the protected zone. The survey allowed for comparison of stakeholders providing qualitative and quantitative information regarding attitudes, regulation awareness, and formation of the marine protected area. The results demonstrated a difference in knowledge level based on location in the community. Demographic indicators including education, nationality and community residency time are significant influences on the community perception of marine protection. There was a significant relationship between economic growth provided by the protected area and the level of support for protection resources. Further understanding of the relationship between social indicators and resource management is needed for conservation of important coastal resources.

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