1998 Year of the Ocean
COASTAL TOURISM AND RECREATION
|2.||COASTAL TOURISM AND RECREATION AND THE U.S. ECONOMY||F-3|
|3.||POLICY FRAMEWORKS FOR COASTAL RECREATION ANDTOURISM: AN ASSESSMENT||F-8|
|6.||DOMESTIC LEGAL REGIME||F-25|
|7.||LIST OF ACRONYMS||F-33|
This Year of the Ocean document was prepared as a background discussion paper and does not necessarily reflect the policies of the U.S. Government or the U.S. Government agencies that participated in its preparation.
Coastal tourism and recreation are important parts of the largest and most rapidly growing activity in the world--- international tourism. Tourism and recreation-related development is one of the major factors shaping development patterns in the coastal zones of the United States. Foreign tourism to the United States, much of it coastal-motivated, provides significant economic benefits that relate directly to the U.S. position in an increasingly competitive global economy (Houston, 1995). Hence, any analysis of U.S. interests in coasts and oceans must take account of this very significant grouping of interrelated activities. Government at all levels must assume appropriate proactive roles to shape and guide coastal tourism development. This paper reviews the importance of coastal tourism and recreation to the United States and its citizens and identifies gaps where action is needed.
In this presentation, the term "coastal tourism and recreation" embraces the full range of tourism, leisure, and recreationally oriented activities that take place in the coastal zone and the offshore coastal waters. These include coastal tourism development (hotels, resorts, restaurants, food industry, vacation homes, second homes, etc.), and the infrastructure supporting coastal development (retail businesses, marinas, fishing tackle stores, dive shops, fishing piers, recreational boating harbors, beaches, recreational fishing facilities, and the like). Also included is ecotourism and recreational activities such as recreational boating, cruises, swimming, recreational fishing, snorkeling and diving. Coastal tourism and recreation in this presentation likewise includes the public and private programs affecting all the aforementioned activities.
Of all the activities that take place in coastal zones and the near-shore coastal ocean, none is increasing in both volume and diversity more than coastal tourism and recreation. Both the dynamic nature of this sector and its magnitude demand that it be actively taken into account in government plans, policies, and programs related to the coasts and ocean. Indeed, virtually all coastal and ocean issue areas affect coastal tourism and recreation either directly or indirectly. Clean water, healthy coastal habitats, and a safe, secure, and enjoyable environment are clearly fundamental to successful coastal tourism. Similarly, bountiful living marine resources (fish, shellfish, wetlands, coral reefs, etc.) are of critical importance to most recreational experiences. Security from risks associated with natural coastal hazards such as storms, hurricanes, tsunamis, and the like is a requisite for coastal tourism to be sustainable over the long term.
The United States is currently a major beneficiary of international tourism, which is the most rapidly expanding economic sector in the world today. In 1995, travel and tourism are estimated to have provided $746 billion to the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP), about 10% of U.S. output, making travel and tourism the second largest contributor to GDP just behind combined wholesale and retail trade (Houston, 1995). Travel and tourism is Americas largest employer, employing 14.4 million annually (in contrast, for example, all U.S. manufacturing industries from IBM to General Motors to Intel employ only 18 million people (Houston, 1995).
Although precise figures are difficult to obtain, estimates based on foreign tourism data from coastal states like Florida and California suggest that as many as one-half of foreign tourists are drawn to the U.S. because of the attractive coastal shorelines and beaches found in this country. In spite of the attractiveness of inland national parks like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon, 85 percent of all U.S. tourist revenues are earned by coastal states and 90 percent of all tourist spending occurs in these states (Houston, 1996).
However, attractive coastal amenities exist in many foreign locations as well. Indeed, tourists from Northern Europe can travel to Mediterranean or Caribbean beaches at least as easily as they can to U.S. coastal resorts. Japanese tour groups have choices that include Australias Gold Coast or Fijis very attractive beaches in addition to those found in Hawaii. Coastal tourism is becoming a highly competitive business as nations actively seek to draw increased numbers of visitors (and increased foreign earnings) to their shores. Moreover, given todays rapid pace of communications, the existence of poor water quality or degraded or eroding beaches is quickly communicated among networks of travel agents and others in the tourism marketing business.
The nations coasts and coastal waters are of great value to the American people both for their personal enjoyment and for the economic benefits these areas generate for coastal communities, coastal states, and for the nation as a whole¾ benefits that can be sustainable indefinitely with proper foresight and enlightened public policies. But, these benefits cannot be taken for granted. Coastal habitats and the resources they support must be protected and, where necessary, restored. The quality of coastal waters must be maintained at a sufficiently high level to provide a healthy and aesthetically pleasing environment for water-based recreation. Similarly, swimming beaches must be maintained at an attractive and functional level even in the presence of accelerating sea-level rise and associated erosion, and possible increases in the frequency of coastal storms. The maintenance of safe conditions for recreational boating and underwater recreation (e.g., adequately marked waterways, timely weather information, rescue services, hyperbaric chambers, etc.) is also of great importance.
Organization of the Paper
Following a review of the importance of coastal tourism and recreation to the U.S. economy, including the contribution of foreign coastal tourism, a description of the existing policy framework affecting coastal tourism and recreation is provided. This covers such topics as:
A discussion of the adequacy of the existing management framework in each of these areas is provided. Existing tools, programs, and arrangements for achieving sustainable coastal tourism are addressed, with emphasis on relevant developments on sustainable tourism at the international level. The final section of this paper presents options for consideration regarding the areas covered, and opportunities for cooperative action with coastal states and communities, the private sector, and nongovernmental organizations.
COASTAL TOURISM AND RECREATION AND THE U.S. ECONOMY
Growth in International Travel and Tourism
Travel and tourism is the worlds largest industry. As reported by the World Tourism Organization, travel and tourism involved more than 528 million people internationally and generated $322 billion in receipts in 1994. In 1995, travel and tourism generated an estimated $3.4 trillion in gross output¾ creating employment for 211.7 million people, producing 10.9 percent of world gross domestic product, investing $693.9 billion in new facilities and equipment, and contributing more than $637 billion to global tax revenues (quoted in an undated publication by the World Trade and Tourism Council, pp. 33-34).
The mammoth global tourism industry is a "massive consumer of energy and resources" (Rearden, 1993, p. 166), and is expected to continue to grow significantly in the future. In 1995, the World Tourism Organization forecasted international arrivals worldwide to reach 661 million by the year 2000, up from 528 million in 1994, with arrivals predicted to reach 937 million by 2010 (Savignac, 1995). By 2005, it is estimated that the industry will have expanded globally, generating employment for 305 million people, producing 11.4 percent of world gross domestic product, investing $1,613 billion in new facilities and equipment, and contributing more than $1,369 billion in tax revenue (WTTC et al., p. 34). This growth in world tourism is related to three main factors: increased personal incomes and leisure time, improvements in transportation systems, and greater public awareness of other areas of the world due to improved communications (UNEP, 1992, p. 3).
Foreign tourism has been a very important factor for the U.S. economy. In 1994, 45.5 million international visitors came to the United States, according to the Department of Commerce, and spent $60 billion dollars (Wildavsky, 1995). The U.S. travel and tourism industry, with 6 million jobs, represents the second-largest employer in the United States after health care (Wildavsky, 1995). In 1986, the United States was the worlds leading tourism destination (Miller, 1993). However, since that time, the U.S. leadership position in world tourism has been eroding; in 1996, France became the worlds leading tourism destination. In 1995, the Commerce Department projected a 2.5 million dip in the number of international visitors to the United States and a dip in tourism revenues of 2.7 percent (Wildavsky, 1995). Continuing economic difficulties in Europe and the strengthening of the U.S. dollar could account for some of this decline.
Balance of Payments Contributions of International Travel and Tourism
In 1994, the Wall Street Journal estimated that the United States receives over 45 percent of the developed worlds travel and tourism revenues and 60 percent of its profits (Houston, 1996). While the United States runs a substantial merchandise trade deficit, it has a trade surplus in the service sector, with travel and tourism accounting for the largest and most rapidly growing part of this surplus. According to Business Week, "foreign visitors spend about $80 billion a year in the United States, producing a $26 billion U.S. trade surplus in travel and tourism" (quoted in Houston, 1996). Likewise, this publication reports 1.4 million U.S. jobs are supported by foreign tourism¾ ten times the number of jobs in the U.S. steel industry.
Foreign tourism to the United States in 1995 was expected to generate a trade surplus of $26 billion compared to a surplus of $17 billion in 1992 and a deficit of $7 billion in 1986. U.S. employment due to international tourism has been projected to grow by as much as 18 percent annually during the 1995-2000 period, doubling the number of tourism-related jobs every four years. The Department of Commerce has estimated that foreign tourist spending in the United States will rise to $132 billion dollars in the year 2000 (Houston, 1996).
Tax Revenue Contributions of International Travel and Tourism
It has been estimated that travel and tourism produces tax revenues for all levels of government of about $58 billion annually (Houston, 1996). Of this total, foreign tourism is responsible for tax revenues of about $7.5 billion, about $4 billion of which goes to the federal government. Houston has observed that federal expenditures for beach re-nourishment have averaged only $34 million a year between 1950 and 1993 (in 1993 dollars), noting that the federal government receives tax revenues from foreign tourism that are 180 times its expenditure on the nations beaches.
Promotion of International Tourism to the United States
The United States lags far behind other nations on spending on tourism promotion. Ronald Allen, chairman of Delta Air Lines, Inc., notes "...The Republic of Ireland, with a population of less than 4 million people, spends $45 million in public funds annually to promote tourism. This country, with 260 million people, spends less than $17 million in federal money" Wildavsky, 1995, p. 2280). Spain, with its attractive beaches and climate, spends 10 times more than the United States in advertising to attract international tourists. The United States ranks 31st in the world in international tourist market advertising (Houston, 1996, p. 3).
Indeed, there has been a debate at the national level in the United States on whether a greater national presence concerning tourism promotion is needed, with industry advocates arguing for a greater role to eliminate "creeping neglect [of the industry] by public policy makers" (Wildavsky, 1995, p. 2280). Opposition to this has been expressed by economists and others who argue that private companies, not taxpayers, should bear the costs of promotional activities that benefit the U.S. tourism industry (Wildavsky, 1995).
Coastal and Marine Tourism in the United States
The precise magnitude of foreign and domestic tourism in U.S. coastal and marine areas is not clear, since no separate statistics are kept for foreign or domestic tourists to these areas. Figures on foreign tourism receipts are generally based on surveys of departing travelers, generating data which are "imperfect and cannot be compared over time with precision" (Wildavsky, 1995, p. 2279). Data on tourism in coastal areas cannot easily be disaggregated from national-level statistics, but impressionistic evidence as well as a number of recent works on the subject suggest continued growth of tourism in coastal and marine areas in the United States and worldwide (see, for example, Miller, 1993; Miller and Auyong, 1991). Detailed information on the economic impact of domestic tourism has been difficult to find, but growth in all forms of recreation in coastal areas in which both foreign and domestic tourists partake is readily apparent. Such activities include beach going, recreational boating, cruises, marine mammal watching, recreational fishing, underwater recreation, bird watching, nature appreciation, and the like.
In terms of U.S. tourism, studies have shown that beaches are the leading tourist destination while national parks and historic sites are the second most popular destination (Houston, 1996). Consistent with these findings, approximately 180 million people visit the coast for recreational purposes, with 85 percent of tourist related revenues generated by coastal states. In addition to growing numbers of visitors, the permanent population of U.S. coastal regions is also increasing at a faster rate than the population as a whole. The population of coastal counties has increased by approximately 25 percent since 1970 (Cunningham and Walker, 1996; Houston, 1996).
In California, for example, Wilson and Wheeler (1997) provide the following estimates for the annual contribution of various ocean industries to the California economy. Their study shows that tourism (predominantly coastal) is the largest contributor at $9.9 billion, with the next largest contributor being ports at $6.0 billion. Offshore oil accounted for $860 million, and fisheries and mariculture combined contributed $550 million. Similarly, between June 1995 and May 1996, 2.5 million visitors to Monroe County, Florida (in the Florida Keys) spent about $1.2 billion. Recreation and tourism (all coastal) accounted for over 60 percent of output/sales, 45 percent of income, and over 46 percent of all employment (English et al., 1996).
Recently the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) undertook a national study on the benefits of water quality improvement in terms of numbers of people involved and the economic value of the activities in which they participate (EPA, 1996). This study provides some valuable quantitative information on the importance of coastal tourism and recreation:
A number of the estuary programs that make up EPAs National Estuary Program have undertaken studies of the economic activity generated by the coastal and estuaries resources in their region. Some findings related to coastal tourism and recreation are given below (EPA, 1997):
Corpus Christi, Texas. Nature tourism in Corpus Christi is the fastest growing component of a tourism sector that generates $23 billion annually. Recreational fishing provides aggregate net benefits to the area of $83 million, including $37 million per year in state and local taxes, with a regional economic impact of $546 million. Non-fishing coastal recreational activity adds another $23 million in state and local taxes, and $340 million in regional economic impact.
Long Island Sound, New York. The economic impact of water quality-dependent uses in Long Island Sound, including boating, commercial and sport fishing, and swimming, is estimated at more than $5 billion annually. Commercial and recreational fishing contributed more than $1.2 billion to the total, while beachgoing has a direct benefit of more than $800 million annually.
Indian River Lagoon, Florida. The Indian River Lagoon region is a popular resort and vacation destination which received over six million visitors in 1995 and provided economic benefits of approximately $730 million.
Santa Monica Bay, California. Tourism is the Los Angeles regions second largest industry with 392,000 full and part-time jobs contributing $3.6 billion annually to the regions payroll. With nearly four million tourists annually, and over 45 million beach visits per year, Santa Monica Bay contributes significantly to the regional economy.
San Francisco Bay, California. The economy of the 12 counties bordering this estuary exceeds $175 billion and supports more than four million jobs. Many of these jobs are dependent on the estuarys natural resources or are water-related. Revenues from maritime activities exceed $5.4 billion each year, and marinas annually generate some $167 million. Tourism, which generates over $4 billion annually, is likewise strongly tied to the aesthetic values of the estuary.
POLICY FRAMEWORKS FOR COASTAL RECREATION AND
TOURISM: AN ASSESSMENT
A perusal of the literature on tourism suggests that it is easy to make generalizations: on the positive side, to extol its huge economic development potential; on the negative side, to decry impacts on the environment, overuse of resources and energy, ignorance of local culture, and absence of local benefits. For analytical purposes, it is best, however, to consider tourism in neutral terms as an agent of development and change which may have both positive and negative effects, as the following quote suggests:
"As Butler (1990) points out, tourism, like other industries, is an agent of development and change and must be recognized as such. It is consumptive like any other industry and the level of consumption is determined by the scale and style of tourism development. At low levels and with careful design, tourism may be able to operate at a sustainable level. However, controlling the level and style of development over the long term presents challenges which, to this point, have not been successfully met. Because of its potentially high impact, tourism should be considered in the same manner as any other industry and should be subjected to the same environmental and social impact assessment processes during the planning stages" (Woodley, 1993, p. 137).
Butler suggests the following working definition of sustainable development in the context of tourism: "tourism which is developed and maintained in an area (community, environment) in such a manner and at such a scale that it remains viable over an indefinite period and does not degrade or alter the environment (human and physical) in which it exists to such a degree that it prohibits the successful development and well being of other activities and processes" (Butler, 1993, p. 29).
Tourism has often been ignored by public sector agencies. Where it has been considered as a specific development feature, it has often been viewed as a "soft" option, which can be pursued relatively easily and which does not require much in terms of specific planning or resources (Butler, 1993). While this view has changed somewhat in recent years as the magnitude and importance of tourism has begun to be appreciated, ignorance about tourism and many of the processes associated with it is still widespread.
The lack of attention by public agencies to tourism is especially problematic in the case of marine and coastal tourism. In most countries, there usually is no coordination between programs that promote and market tourism and those that manage coastal and marine areas. Integrated coastal management often tends to be done within environmental or planning agencies. On the other hand, agencies dealing with the promotion of tourism are not involved with the evaluation of its effects or with advance planning and management of the adverse impacts of tourism through avoidance, mitigation, and compensation strategies (Cicin-Sain, 1993). Hence, one of the greatest challenges facing coastal managers in the United States and elsewhere is how to integrate tourism development within the ambit of integrated coastal management, and thus increase the likelihood of long-term sustainability (Cicin-Sain and Knecht, 1998).
The Role of the Federal Government in Coastal Tourism Management
As an economic activity, tourism is difficult to influence and manage directly. Like most coastal development in market economies, tourism-related development is driven largely by the private sector and its assessment of economic opportunities. Miller and Auyong (1991) point out that tourism involves mainly three sets of actors: tourists, locals (those who reside in the region of tourism destinations but are unconnected to the tourism industry), and two categories of brokers (those in the private sector who are engaged in the business of tourism, and those in the public sector who in one way or another monitor, manage, or govern tourism). Tourism tends to be globally driven by market forces influenced by such factors as advertising (by public or private agents at the tourist destination), the perceptions of the traveling public about security, amenity values, etc., and, in the case of international tourists, by currency factors.
Notwithstanding these difficulties, there is much that the federal government, working with the states and localities, does to ensure that coastal tourism is conducted in a sustainable manner, thereby ensuring long term economic and environmental benefits for coastal communities and the nation. Sustainable development of coastal tourism is dependent on:
1. good coastal management practices (particularly regarding proper siting of tourism infrastructure and the provision of public access);
2. clean water and air, and healthy coastal ecosystems;
3. maintaining a safe and secure recreational environment though the management of coastal hazards (such as erosion, storms, floods), and the provision of adequate levels of safety for boaters, swimmers, and other water users;
4. beach restoration efforts that maintain the recreational and amenity values of beaches; and,
5. sound policies for wildlife and habitat protection.
While there are separate federal programs dealing with each of these areas, some more successfully than others, in recent years there has been a growing realization among a number of federal agencies that these factors are interconnected and that all are needed to achieve healthy ecosystems and sustainable economies in coastal communities. To cite just one example, the Sustain Healthy Coasts 5-year Implementation Plan, developed by NOAAs Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (March 1997), defines the following objective: "Foster well-planned and revitalized coastal communities that are compatible with the natural environment, minimize the risk from natural hazards, and provide access to coastal resources for the publics use and enjoyment."
In the sections that follow, existing efforts by federal agencies the categories outlined above are reviewed and assessed. The small but growing sector of ecotourism, and the need to manage this activity carefully to avoid adverse impacts on protected species and sensitive habitats, is also discussed.
Coastal Management and Planning
The United States has the oldest national coastal management and planning program in the world, initiated under the Coastal Zone Management Act of 1972. The program, administered by NOAAs Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, now includes coastal management programs in 31 U.S. states and territories, covering 97.2 percent of the U.S. shoreline (Uravitch, 1997). The program uses incentives (in the form of grants to the states and the "federal consistency" provision) to assist states in the preparation and implementation of coastal management plans. These state efforts have been multifaceted and have addressed, through a variety of means (regulatory, planning, public awareness raising), all uses of coastal areas.
Three management practices under the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program are especially important for ensuring sustainable tourism development: (1) provisions for the management of coastal development; (2) provisions to improve public access to the shoreline; and (3) provisions to protect (and, where necessary, to restore) coastal environments.
Management of Coastal Development
All CZM programs have elements which, in effect, help manage coastal development. Two of these are especially relevant to tourism development: (1) encouragement of water-dependent uses in the coastal zone and (2) the appropriate siting of new facilities in the coastal zone.
Encouragement of water-dependent uses
State CZM programs actively encourage and facilitate the use of land adjacent to the shoreline for those purposes which require such a location. This policy helps ensure that proposals for tourism and marine recreation projects receive appropriate consideration in the government review process. It also helps ensure that meritorious coastal tourism developments are not crowded out of the coastal zone by uses that do not require a shoreside location.
Appropriate siting of facilities
Construction of new facilities in the coastal zone must meet the setback requirements of state CZM programs. While states differ in their requirements, the trend is to relate setback lines to annual erosion rates and, thus, to require the greatest setbacks from the high tidemark in those areas having the largest erosion rates. Facilities siting policies also help ensure that new tourism construction is not located in hazardous areas from the standpoint of coastal storm damage and flooding.
Improvement of Public Access to the Shoreline
A strong emphasis in the federal Coastal Zone Management Act relates to the importance of ensuring adequate public access to the nations shorelines for recreational pursuits. All 31 state programs are actively pursuing this goal. Recognizing the limitations of simply planning for access, Congress added section 306A to the CZMA in 1980 to allow states to acquire land and fund low cost construction projects to provide public access ways to the beach and coastal waters (Cunningham and Walker, 1996).
Since 1980, for example, the California Coastal Program has acquired over 2,300 public access ways along the coast while the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission has increased public access around the perimeter of San Francisco Bay from 4 miles in 1977 to more than 96 miles in 1990 (Cunningham and Walker, 1996). Under the CZM program, states and localities use grant funding and regulatory tools to secure improved public access for recreational purposes.
Protection of Coastal Habitats
The existence of healthy coastal habitats (wetlands, beaches and dunes, sea grass beds, mangroves, coral reefs, estuaries) is important to coastal recreation and tourism. State CZM programs represent one of the important management avenues in obtaining this protection. Within specified coastal zone boundaries, states and/or their local governments regulate activities which could adversely impact these habitats. Other federal programs, such as those under the Clean Water Acts Section 404 (dredge and fill program) and Section 320 (National Estuary Program), the Marine Protection Research and Sanctuaries Act (which controls ocean dumping), the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, the National Seashore Program, the Endangered Species Act, and the Marine Mammal Protection Act, also serve to protect coastal habitats. Furthermore, a national system of estuarine research reserves aimed at providing a representative system of natural field laboratories for management-related research and monitoring also exists as an adjunct to the national CZM program.
Management of Clean Water and Healthy Ecosystems
Clean water and healthy coastal ecosystems are essential to the maintenance of coastal tourism and recreation. Foreign tourists and the recreating domestic public stop going to areas where the waters are polluted, beaches are closed, or fish are tainted. For example, it is reported that the State of New Jersey lost $800 million in tourism revenues following reports that medical wastes had washed up on some of its beaches (Bookman, 1997). According to EPA estimates, coastal and marine waters support 28.3 million jobs, generate $54 billion in goods and services, contribute $30 billion to the U.S. economy through recreational fishing, and provide a destination for 180 million Americans to recreate each year (EPA web page, November 1997).
In the past 25 years, there have been extensive efforts made by federal agencies, especially EPA and NOAA, in association with the coastal states, to improve coastal water quality. Under programs authorized by the Clean Water Act of 1972 (as amended) and administered by EPA, significant improvements in water quality have been realized. Point sources have been largely controlled under the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES). Significant challenges remain regarding the control of non-point sources of water pollution (resulting from such sources as agricultural practices, urban and storm water run-off, and air deposition), especially in coastal areas abutting agricultural lands. EPAs non-point source program (under Section 319 of the Clean Water Act), and NOAAs program under Section 6217 of the CZM Act, have been used in combination in a number of coastal states to begin more effective measures to control non-point sources of pollution.
Protection of the marine environment is one of the critical services provided by the U.S. Coast Guard. This includes prevention of environmentally threatening marine accidents and responses aimed at minimizing adverse effects should accidents occur., This also includes protection of living marine resources and marine sanctuaries. The implementation of the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 is resulting in safer ships entering U.S. ports, safer vessel operators, and hence, cleaner coastal waters. NOAAs National Ocean Service provides safe navigation services, such as nautical charts, and information on water levels and currents, that help prevent marine accidents. It also performs hazardous material spill response activities. NOAAs role in pollution monitoring (National Status and Trends Program) and damage assessment are also important aspects of managing clean water and healthy ecosystems.
In addition, special planning and management efforts, largely directed at improving water quality and habitats, have been made in many of the nations estuaries under the aegis of EPAs National Estuary Program (NEP). Under the NEP, 28 estuaries, designated as estuaries of national significance, have been the beneficiaries of substantially increased research and management attention. Management conferences convened in each estuarine area are used to oversee the characterization of each estuary, and the preparation and implementation of Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plans (CCMPs). These include resource and water-quality related goals and the action plans necessary to meet these goals. An enduring commitment from NEP stakeholders at all levels is vital to the successful implementation of the CCMPs and the long-term health and sustainability of these estuarine resources. This commitment must include the acquisition and leveraging of sufficient funds by state and local governments, follow-through on commitments agreed to by the implementors, and the full use of appropriate authorities. The continuing involvement of the federal government, notably the EPA, in the oversight and support of the NEP is also likely to be critical to the long-term success of the program.
The direct contribution to coastal economies made by cleaning up coastal waters is often not fully recognized. A recent report by the EPA indicates that in seven estuaries alone1, tourism and beach going activities generate economic benefits of more than $16 billion to their respective regions (EPA, 1997). Clearly, these benefits depend on the maintenance of clean coastal waters and attractive ecosystems.
While substantial progress has been made in improving coastal water quality since 1972, much remains to be done. Meanwhile, reauthorization of the Clean Water Act has been stalled for several years, the national policy framework for dealing with non-point source pollution remains somewhat unclear, and funding levels for water quality improvement programs are inadequate. Furthermore, the nation needs to decide if the current largely voluntary approach to non-point source pollution will be sufficient, especially for dealing with agricultural run-off problems.
Management of Coastal Hazards
In siting coastal resorts and other facilities, there is understandably a predilection for locating in beautiful but high-risk zones that are as close as physically possible to the edge of the sea, or otherwise take advantage of scenic views and proximity to beaches and ocean recreation. Of course, it is precisely these areas that are most vulnerable to both long-term and episodic coastal hazards: such as erosion, storms, and floods.
While government cannot be expected to protect individuals from their own recklessness, it does have a responsibility to provide the information necessary to permit informed decisions to be made with regard to the kinds and degrees of risk associated with living in various parts of the coastal zone. Furthermore, coastal areas that are clearly hazardous as building sites should be reserved for other uses. Government also has the responsibility to provide adequate warnings of impending storms or other hazardous conditions, and to develop plans for coping with such emergencies. Several government programs exist to meet these needs as discussed below.
At the federal level, FEMAs National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and the Coastal Zone Management Program exist, in part, to address these problems. The NFIP offers flood insurance to coastal landowners in communities that have met government standards for building in coastal areas (elevating structures above a designated flood level, designation of high hazard areas where no building is allowed, etc.). FEMA is also responsible for supporting and facilitating the work of state emergency preparedness offices in the preparation of coastal evacuation plans and plans to deal with disasters such as hurricanes both during the event and during the clean-up and reconstruction phases. NOAAs National Weather Service devotes considerable resources to the job of providing timely "state-of-the-art" forecasts and predictions of hurricanes and other coastal storms.
1Casco Bay (Maine), Long Island Sound (New York, Connecticut), Massachusetts Bay (Massachusetts), Albermarle-Pamlico Sounds (North Carolina), Galveston Bay (Texas), San Francisco Bay (California), and Santa Monica Bay (California))
Through the federal CZM program, coastal states build in their own regulatory approaches such as construction setback lines, storm-resistant building codes, acquisition programs for hazardous areas, and the like. Recognizing the connections that should exist between the planning and management efforts under CZM, and cognizant of the lessons being learned during storm events by the emergency management programs, NOAA and FEMA are initiating a series of workshops to strengthen the coordination between these programs.
Advanced planning and follow-up are required to maintain a safe and secure environment for visitors. Tourists take their safety for granted when they go to the beach or visit a coastal resort or even rent a sailboat for the day.. Yet the coast is inherently a place with real risks, even under good weather conditions. Swimmers can drown and boats can collide or go aground, poisonous jellyfish can sting. And, of course, episodic large storms and hurricanes can have devastating consequences in coastal areas heavily populated with visitors.
Increasing numbers of Americans find themselves on the nations waterways in connection with recreational boating, fishing, traveling to and from coral reefs for snorkeling and diving, and so on. Maintaining an adequate level of safety and accident prevention requires properly marked channels, rescue services, oversight of boating safety requirements (e.g., life jackets and other emergency equipment), and monitoring and enforcement of boating operations, including so-called "thrill craft." While some of these duties can be performed by local and state authorities, the maintenance of safe and well-marked waterways and maritime safety in general has traditionally been a federal government responsibility. In any event, the federal government is in the best position to ensure than an adequately comprehensive safety program is in place in coastal areas. The U.S. Coast Guard is the primary federal agency with responsibility for coastal search and rescue, enforcement of maritime laws, and maintenance of a national waterway marking system. The Coast Guard is also the coordinator of the national recreational boating safety program aimed at ensuring the safety of boats and associated equipment, and their safe operation by boaters. Through the production of accurate nautical charts and related products, NOAA provides essential information for navigating the nations coastal waters.
Beach Restoration Programs
The federal government, acting through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, has long played an important role in the maintenance and restoration of the nations beaches and shores. Experience in shore protection efforts has shown that soft solutions involving beach re-nourishment have produced better, more economical results than hard solutions such as seawalls and groins in many circumstances.
Seawalls and revetments first developed as the field of coastal engineering emerged. , While these measures are often successful at protecting the development and infrastructure behind a beach, they do not address the real cause of beach erosion, which is a lack of sediment in the system. As understanding of coastal systems has grown through research and data collection programs, solutions to such problems has progressed. Today, beach re-nourishment represents a sound engineering solution that is economically feasible and environmentally sensitive. Only in areas with very high erosion rates and substantial shoreside facilities to protect are hard structural solutions considered.
The shift of population to coastal counties and the increased demand for coastal tourism destinations has exacerbated many existing beach erosion problems. Development in areas with high erosion rates (U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, 1971) and building on or in front of sand dunes, rather than behind them, are major factors contributing to increased beach erosion problems. Relative sea-level rise caused primarily by subsidence is another major factor in some areas. The interruption of sand flowing along the coast by natural or stabilized inlets is also an aggravating factor.
The Corps has conducted assessments of many of the nations important beaches and has assisted coastal communities in the funding of beach nourishment projects. The bulk of the costs of these projects have been borne by the federal government with the local share generally being about 30 to 35 percent of the total cost. Just as the federal government is reconsidering its policies in this regard, coastal erosion and increasing relative sea-level rise in some parts of the country (notably the middle Atlantic and Gulf coasts) are increasing the need for beach replenishment projects.
As statistics cited earlier show, Americas beaches are an important element in this countrys attractiveness as an international tourist destination. A case in point concerns Miami Beach which virtually had no beach left by the mid 1970s as a result of erosion. Beach re-nourishment (at the cost of $52 million) in the late 1970s rejuvenated Miami Beach and enabled its beach to be reopened to the public. Beach attendance subsequently increased from 8 million in 1978 to 21 million in 1983. Annual governmental revenue obtained from foreign tourism in Miami Beach alone is about 40 times the cost of the beach re-nourishment project that has lasted over 15 years (Houston, 1995).
Given the role played by beach tourism in the nations balance of payments and its impact on government revenues and regional and local economies, it is crucial that these assets be maintained at levels that promote and enhance their recreational use. If budgetary constraints make it necessary to reduce federal assistance for beach restoration and maintenance, a gradual and predictable approach should be adopted and states and coastal communities assisted in developing viable alternative funding arrangements.
Coastal Tourism and the Need to Coordinate Federal Policies And Programs
While the issues discussed above are usually considered separately, all are of central importance to sustainable coastal tourism. Any one, be it poorly planned development, poor coastal water quality, unsafe or hazardous conditions, or eroding beaches, could seriously impact the tourism potential of a coastal area. Furthermore, policies and programs in each of these areas need to be developed and implemented in an integrated fashion, each taking account of the others. Failure to do this can result in such undesirable outcomes as erosion control structures that impair the recreational experience, or poorly designed development that causes water pollution or beach erosion.
Management of Ecotourism
Ecotourism or nature tourism is: "Tourism that involves traveling to relatively undisturbed or uncontaminated natural areas with the specific object of studying, admiring, and enjoying the scenery and its wild plants and animals, as well as any existing cultural areas."2 While still relatively small, ecotourism is one of the fastest growing segments of the tourism industry and presents special management challenges.
Internationally, ecotourism is growing at a moderate rate with the financial impacts greatest in rural areas near important ecotourism activities (Eagles, 1997). In 1988, international ecotourists numbered 236 million worldwide, with an estimated economic impact of $233 billion (U.S.) (Eagles, 1997). In 1994, the number of international ecotourists rose to 317 million with direct economic impact of $250 billion (U.S.) (Ecotourism Society, 1997).
Although specific data on coastal ecotourism are difficult to obtain, market surveys in the United States show good prospects for ecotourism growth. In 1992, a U.S. Travel Data Center survey indicated that 7 percent of U.S. travelers had taken at least one trip that they considered ecotourism and 30 percent claimed they would take one within the next three years (Eagles, 1997).
In the United States, some coastal states have begun promoting ecotourism and nature-based tourism through the preparation of guides to ecotourism attractions and other publications. For example, the Marine Advisory Service of the Delaware Sea Grant College Program produced a guidebook to ecotourism sites in the state (Falk, Small, and Rector, 1997). In 1996, the State of South Carolina, with the collaboration of the South Carolina Sea Grant Consortium, produced a handbook entitled Guidelines and Recommendations for Nature-Based Tourism Planning and Practice in South Carolina (Bacon and Kibler, 1996). Yet another example is the California Coastal Conservancy, which devoted its Summer 1997 issue of California Coast & Ocean to nature tourism.
Ecotourism in association with marine and estuarine protected areas, especially the National Marine Sanctuary Program and National Estuarine Research Reserve Program, has a great potential (Koss, 1995). However, for ecotourism activities to be sustainable, they must be managed properly and with special care. Unless properly managed, the impacts of ecotourism (for example, to remote pristine areas) may be worse than those of tourism to clearly defined and confined resorts (Butler, 1993, p. 28).
In the United States, for example, concerns have been raised about the impacts of ecotourism on marine mammals, which are protected under the Marine Mammal Protection Act.
2Caballos-Lascurain, 1988, as quoted in Lindberg, 1993, p. 3
Commercial cruises to observe and "feed wild dolphins" operating in such areas as Texas, South Carolina, and Florida, were found to harm dolphins by making them reliant on accepting food from humans and decreasing their ability to survive in the wild. Threats to the marine mammal populations and to humans in these situations include: (1) substantially altering the natural behavior of marine mammals, including foraging for food and migration, (2) the loss of wariness by humans, which places the animals at increased risk of injury or death from interaction with vessels, (3) animals receiving inappropriate or contaminated food, and (4) increased injuries to humans as the habituated animals become predictably more aggressive when they lose their wariness of humans and compete for handouts (NOAA/NMFS/OPR, 1994, 1995, and 1998).
Management of Coastal Recreation Activities
The last decade has seen a great increase in the nature and magnitude of coastal recreation activities, which as has been shown, generate billions of dollars in economic activity. Recreational uses of a consumptive nature include hunting, fishing, shellfishing, shell collection, and the like, while non-consumptive uses include swimming, surfing, sun-bathing, boating, wind-surfing, jet skiing, bird watching, snorkeling, diving, glass-bottom boating, and many more. As coastal recreation activities have proliferated, the need for active management has increased as well.
At least three sets of concerns related to the management of coastal recreation activities must be dealt with, namely, environmental/resource concerns, amenity concerns, and safety concerns. Environmental/resource constraints include the maintenance of good water quality, and habitats and living resources which are free of health hazards, and which have good air quality, healthy coral reefs, healthy shellfish areas, etc. Amenity concerns include adequate controls on congestion, noise, landscape degradation, and the like. Safety concerns include adequate lifeguard systems, first aid facilities, telephones, codes of conduct for beach users, and notice systems for beach and water hazards (such as jellyfish, underwater obstructions, etc.) and for weather-related risks (such as high waves, undertows, dangerous currents, etc.).
In most cases, the responsibility for meeting these concerns is divided between the beach "owner" (often a local government or state government, but sometimes federal or private), resort and/or recreation facility operators, and state environmental or health departments. In general, nationwide standards for recreational beach operation do not exist, even with respect to beach closings. This would appear to be an area where additional attention at the national level is needed.
A promising start in this area is a new program recently launched by the EPA and designated the Beaches Environmental Assessment, Closure, and Health (BEACH) Program. This program is designed to encourage government agencies at all levels to strengthen beach water quality standards and testing methods using predictive water pollution models, to better inform the public about beach water quality conditions, and to make information about the risks associated with swimming in contaminated beach water available to the public.3
Emerging Tools and Techniques
Although coastal tourism constitutes a strong force (both positive and negative) in shaping coastal communities and local, regional, and national economies, coastal tourism is generally not seen as a specific sector requiring policy, planning, and management attention and resources. This is due, in part, to the fact that data and information tend not be gathered and aggregated under this heading. Hence, the magnitude and importance of leisure and recreationally motivated development in the coastal zone tends to be understated, understudied, and under-managed.
However, certain aspects of this situation may be changing. Since the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992, a number of new initiatives for sustainable tourism practices have appeared. For example, in 1993, a new periodical entitled Journal of Sustainable Tourism appeared, focusing on applying the principles of sustainable development to the tourism field. In 1997, on the occasion of the five-year review of the implementation of Earth Summit agreements, three organizations: The World Travel and Tourism Council, the World Tourism Organization, and the Earth Council; jointly published Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry: Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development (WTTC et al, no date). This report presents a summary of Agenda 21 (one of the main outputs of the Earth Summit), and the role that travel and tourism can play in achieving the goals of Agenda 21. It also outlines a program of action. Planning for sustainable tourism development is one of the priority areas of the program, which calls for complementarity between tourism and coastal development by adopting suitable policies such as the Global Blue Flag Program (WTTC et al.). The Blue Flag Program is a European campaign started in the 1980s which encourages local authorities to provide clean and safe beaches for local populations and international tourists. Blue Flag awards go to beaches that achieve certain standards in water quality, beach management and safety, and environmental information and education.
A guide for tourism managers has also been developed by the World Tourism Organization (WTO, 1996) on the formulation and use of indicators of sustainable tourism. Indicators signal unacceptable levels of impacts or stress, and these can in turn lead to the development of standards to govern tourism activities. Core indicators developed by the WTO include use intensity (persons per meter of accessible beach), species counts (number of species, change in composition), pollution levels (fecal coliform, heavy metal counts, etc.), and accident rates (WTO, 1996).
New tools are also being developed in connection with coastal tourism and natural disasters, such as hurricanes. The University of Florida, for example, in cooperation with the Florida Hotel and Motel Association, has prepared The Hurricane Preparedness Handbook for Hotels and Motels.
3The EPA web site HYPERLINK is http://www.epa.gov/ost/beaches/overview.html.
In a slightly different direction, Clemson University (Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management) has prepared a handbook to guide communities and their tourism industries through crises of various types including those associated with natural hazards such as hurricanes (Sonmez et al. ). As outlined in its introduction, this guidebook "is intended to serve as a guideline to facilitate tourism recovery by protecting or rebuilding a local areas image of safety and attractiveness; reassuring potential visitors of the safety of the area; reestablishing the areas functionality and attractiveness; and aiding the local travel and tourism industry members in their economic recovery efforts" (Sonmez et al., p. v).
As detailed above, coastal tourism and recreation involve major economic activity in U.S. coastal and ocean areas, and must be planned and managed with special care to insure that the environmental quality on which coastal tourism and recreation depend is maintained and enhanced. Major findings and areas of future work are summarized below:
1. Economic importance of coastal tourism and recreation. Coastal tourism and recreation provide a huge positive economic benefit in the United States, both in terms of jobs and earnings and in terms of balance of payments and governmental revenues. As discussed, over 90 percent of foreign tourism spending is concentrated in coastal states where beaches are the leading tourism destination (Houston, 1996). For example, Miami Beach reported more tourist visits (21 million) than were made to any National Park Service property (Houston, 1995). The federal government, moreover, receives about 6 times as much tax revenues annually from foreign tourism spending at Miami Beach than it spends to restore beaches in the entire nation (Houston, 1996). Yet, these values often go unrecognized, and are not the subject of concerted attention by federal, state, and local policymakers.
2. There is little information on marine and coastal tourism. There is no systematic collection of data and information on the magnitude, nature, and economic and social impacts of tourism and recreation in the nations coastal zone. This is, in part, responsible for a general under-appreciation of this set of activities and for the failure to devote adequate planning and management attention to the relevant issues that are raised for coastal tourism and recreation. To properly guide coastal tourism in a sustainable development manner, better data focused on coastal and marine areas will be needed. The types of information needed include:
3. U.S. promotional efforts to attract foreign tourists to U.S. coastal areas lag significantly behind those of other nations. Foreign tourists use U.S. coastal areas very frequently and contribute significantly to jobs, earnings, and tax revenues in coastal communities. Foreign competition in marketing other world coastal destinations, however, is increasing. In contrast to many other governments, the U.S. government spends very little in tourism promotion.
4. Federal policies and programs essential for the maintenance of healthy coastal tourism and recreation (coastal planning and management, clean water, beach nourishment, management of coastal hazards and of coastal safety) are interrelated and should be treated as a whole. The economic viability and sustainability of coastal tourism and recreation are directly affected by at least four sets of federal policies and programs:
While a variety of federal efforts are focused on different programs of importance to coastal tourism, these have not been successfully coordinated. To remedy this situation, consideration could be given to the creation of an interagency initiative devoted to coastal tourism among the major federal agencies with programs in this area (e.g., NOAA (NOS [OCRM, NMS, NERRS], NMFS, OAR), the Department of Interior (Coastal Barrier Program, Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service), EPA, FEMA, Army Corps of Engineers, Coast Guard, etc.). Related options could entail the mobilization of a public-private partnership to work in conjunction with the federal inter-agency group (involving such entities as state coastal programs, state tourist offices, aquaria, and waterfront redevelopers), and the development of a public awareness and outreach program focused on the determinants of successful coastal tourism.
5. Little guidance (in the form of standards, codes of conduct, manuals, etc.) is currently available to states and communities for guiding appropriate tourism development in coastal areas. While individual coastal communities and coastal states have taken initiative in preparing guides and codes of conduct related to coastal tourism and recreation, many others have not yet done so. The federal government can play a useful role here in providing guidance to states and communities in their attempts to manage coastal tourism and recreation appropriately. Useful activities include the development of standards, guides, and manuals for managing coastal tourism, in cooperation with relevant non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and international entities working on these issues. Also, management standards for recreational beaches, for example, those developed for the European Blue Flag program, could play a valuable role in improving conditions at some U.S. beaches.
Bacon, R. and Kibler, T. 1996. "Nature-Based Tourism Development in South Carolina." South Carolina Sea Grant Extension Program, South Carolina.
Bramwell, B. 1991. "Shades of Green Tourism." Leisure Management, Spring: 41-42.
Bookman, Charles, 1997. Personal communication, November 20, 1997.
Butler, R.W. 1993. "Tourism: An Evolutionary Perspective." Tourism and Sustainable Development: Monitoring, Planning, Managing. J. Nelson, R. Butler, and G. Wall, Eds. University of Waterloo: Heritage Resources Centre Joint Publication Number 1.
Caballos-Lascurain, Hector. 1988. "The Future of Ecotourism." Annals of Tourism Research 18: 26-40.
Cicin-Sain, B. 1993. "Sustainable Development, Integrated Coastal Management and Tourism: Challenges to Mediterranean Countries," MEDCOAST '93 Proceedings, Antalya, Turkey.
Cicin-Sain, B. and Robert W. Knecht. 1991. "The Role of Government in Tourism Development." Proceedings, International Conference on Marine and Coastal Tourism. Honolulu, Hawaii.
Cicin-Sain, B. and Robert W. Knecht. 1998. Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management: Concepts and Experiences. Washington, D.C.: Island Press.
Cunningham, C and Walker, K. 1996. "Enhancing Public Access to the Coast through the CZMA." The Journal of Marine Education, Volume 14, Number 1. pp 8-11.
Eagles, P.F.G., 1997. Understanding the Market for Sustainable Tourism. Internet source: http://www.ecotourism.org/textfiles/eagles.txt
Ecotourism Society. 1997. Ecotourism Statistical Fact Sheets. Internet source: http://www.ecotourism.org/textfiles/stats.txt
English, Donald B.K., Warren Kriesel, Vernon R. Leeworthy, and Peter C. Wiley, 1996. Economic Contribution of Recreating Visitors to the Florida Keys/Key West. Report.
Prepared in collaboration among NOAA (Strategic Environmental Assessments Division, Office of Ocean Resources Conservation and Assessment, National Ocean Service; also Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management/Sanctuaries and Reserves Division/Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary), USDA-Forest Service (Outdoor Recreation and Wilderness Assessment Group, Southern Forest Research Station), Department of Agricultural and Applied Economics, University of Georgia); the Nature Conservancy Florida Keys Initiative, the Monroe County Tourist Development Council, Bicentennial Volunteers, Inc.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1996. Benefits of Water Quality Improvement.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) 1997. Natural Resource Valuation: A Report by the Nations Estuary Program.
Falk, James M., Cindy Small and Rob Rector. 1997. Delaware Eco-Discoveries: The 1997 Guide to Nature-Based Travel in Delaware. Published by Atlantic Publications, Inc. in cooperation with the Delaware Sea Grant College Program and the Southern Delaware Convention and Tourism Commission, Lewes, DE.
Farrell, B. H. and D. Runyan. 1991. "Ecology and Tourism." Links, 1: 3.
Houston, James R., "The Economic Value of Beaches," CERCular, Coastal Engineering Research Center, Vol. CERC-95-4, December 1995.
Houston, James R., "International Tourism and US Beaches," Shore and Beach (1996).
Koss, Jennifer, 1995. "Ecotourism and Marine Protected Areas," Masters thesis, Marine Policy Program, Graduate College of Marine Studies, University of Delaware.
Lindberg, Kreg. 1993. Policies for Maximizing Nature Tourisms Ecological and Economic Benefits. Washington, D.C. World Resources Institute.
Miller, M. 1993. "The Rise of Coastal and Marine Tourism." Special Issue on Ecotourism in Marine and Coastal Areas," Ocean and Coastal Management, 21 (1-3): 183-199.
Miller, M. and J. Auyong, 1991. "Coastal Zone Tourism: A Potent Force Affecting Environment and Society." Marine Policy, 15 (2): 75-99.
National Marine Manufacturers Association. 1996. Boating 1996 (prepared by the Marketing Services Department of the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 200 East Randolph Drive, Suite 5100, Chicago, Illinois 60601).
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, Report to Congress on Results of Feeding Wild Dolphins: 1988-1994, July 1994. 23 p. with appendix.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, 1995. "Flippers Myth Proves Harmful". MMPA Bulletin (6):3.
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, National Marine Fisheries Service, Office of Protected Resources, 1998. "NMFS Continues Campaign to Halt Feeding and Harassment of Wild Dolphins. MMPA Bulletin (10):1.
Rearden, Philip. 1993. "Cultural Aspects of Tourism and Sustainable Development: Tourism and the Hilltribes of Northern Thailand." Tourism and Sustainable Development: Monitoring, Planning, Managing. J. Nelson, R. Butler, and G. Wall, Eds. University of Waterloo: Heritage Resources Centre Joint Publication Number 1.
Richter, Linda K., "Tourism Politics and Political Science: A Case of Not So Benign Neglect," Annals of Tourism Research, Vol. 10 (1983), pp. 313-335.
Savignac, Antonio Enriquez. 1995. "Foreword." World Tourism Directory 95/96, Part 1: Europe. Third Edition. New Providence: K.G. Saur and Reed Travel Group.
Scace, Robert C. 1993. "An Ecotourism Perspective." Tourism and Sustainable Development: Monitoring, Planning, Managing. J. Nelson, R. Butler, and G. Wall, Eds. University of Waterloo: Heritage Resources Centre Joint Publication Number 1.
Sonmez, S.F, Backman, S.J and Allen, L.A. No Date. Managing Tourism Crises: a Guidebook. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management. Clemson University, Clemson, South Carolina.
United Nations Environment Programme, World Tourism Organization, and Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe. 1996. Awards for Improving the Coastal Environment: The Example of the Blue Flag. United Nations Environment Programme, Paris, France; World Tourism Organization, Madrid, Spain; and Foundation for Environmental Education in Europe, Kobenhaum, Denmark. 50 pp.
Uravitch, Joseph, Office of Coastal Programs, NOAA/OCRM, 1997. Personal communication, November 5, 1997, Silver Spring, Maryland.
Wildavsky, B. 1995. "Travel Advisory." National Journal, September 6, 1995.
Wilson, Pete and Douglas P. Wheeler. 1997. California Ocean Resources: An Agenda for the Future. Sacramento, California, The Resources Agency of California, Ocean Resources Management Program.
Woodley, A. 1993. "Tourism and Sustainable Development: The Community Perspective." J. Nelson, R. Butler, and G. Wall, Eds. University of Waterloo: Heritage Resources Centre Joint Publication Number 1.
World Tourism Organization. 1996. "What Tourism Managers Need to Know: A Practical Guide to the Development and Use of Indicators of Sustainable Tourism." World Tourism Organization, Madrid, Spain. 73 pp.
World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), World Tourism Organization, and Earth Council. No date. Agenda 21 for the Travel and Tourism Industry: Towards Environmentally Sustainable Development. World Travel and Tourism Council, London, United Kingdom; World Tourism Organization, Madrid, Spain; and Earth Council, San Jose, Costa Rica. 78 pp. (presented at the June 1997 United Nations General Assembly, "The Earth Summit plus Five," New York City)
DOMESTIC LEGAL REGIME
The legal regime covering this topic is based on a collection of important federal statutory authorities. The following is a brief description of some of those authorities relating to recreation and tourism. The list is selective and is designed to illustrate some major recreation and tourism acts. The list is not meant to be comprehensive.
Abandoned Shipwreck Act (ASA), 43 U.S.C. §§ 2101 et seq.
Under the ASA, the United States asserts title to shipwrecks that are embedded in the submerged lands of a state. The federal government transfers title to the state whose submerged lands contain the shipwreck, except when the wreck is located on public or Indian land, or is a U.S. warship that has not been affirmatively abandoned. The public is given notice of the location of any shipwreck when title is asserted under the ASA.
Pursuant to the ASA, states manage a broad range of living and nonliving resources in their waters and submerged lands. Shipwrecks protected under the ASA offer recreational and educational opportunities for divers, tourists, users of biological sanctuaries, and historical researchers. States are encouraged to provide public access to the shipwrecks through the adoption of guidelines for the creation of underwater parks.
The Secretary of the Interior, through the National Park Service, publishes guidelines to maximize the enhancement of shipwrecks as cultural resources; foster a partnership among sport divers, salvors, and other interests to manage shipwreck resources; facilitate access and utilization of the shipwrecks; and recognize the interests of groups engaged in shipwreck discovery and salvage.
Antiquities Act of 1906, 16 U.S.C. §§ 431 et seq.
The Antiquities Act has two main components: (1) a criminal enforcement component, which provides for the prosecution of persons who appropriate, excavate, injure, or destroy any historic or prehistoric ruin or monument, or any object of antiquity on lands owned or controlled by the United States; and (2) a component that authorizes, through the issuance of a permit, the examination of ruins, the excavation of archeological sites, and the gathering of objects of antiquity on lands owned or controlled by the United States. The Antiquities Act has been applied in the marine environment. Where the United States has ownership or control of the submerged lands in or on which submerged cultural resources are located, the Antiquities Act permitting provision can be used to regulate salvage. It appears, however, that its reach may be limited to regulating salvage only in marine protected areas in which the United States has the authority to protect submerged cultural resources.
Archaeological Resources Protection Act of 1979 (ARPA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 470aa et seq.
The Archaeological Resources Protection Act, is another historic preservation statute that has been applied to the marine environment. ARPA was specifically designed to prevent looting and destruction of archeological resources. Like the Antiquities Act, ARPA has both an enforcement and a permitting component. The enforcement provision provides for the imposition of both criminal and civil penalties against violators of the Act. ARPAs permitting component allows for the recovery of certain artifacts consistent with the standards and requirements of the Federal Archeology Program. While ARPA is applicable to the marine environment, its reach in this context is limited. Pursuant to the express language of the Act itself, ARPA can only be applied to such areas as national parks (with federally-owned submerged lands) and wildlife refuges. Additionally, ARPA specifically states that it does not apply to activities occurring on the outer continental shelf.
Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 3501 et seq.
The purpose of the CBRA is to promote more appropriate use and conservation of coastal barriers along the Atlantic, Gulf, and Great Lakes coastlines. Coastal barriers are defined as bay barriers, barrier islands, and other geological features composed of sediment that protect landward aquatic habitats from direct wind and waves. They provide essential habitats for wildlife and marine life, natural storm buffer zones, and areas of scientific, recreational, historic, and archeological significance. The CBRA seeks to minimize the loss of human life, wasteful federal expenditures on shoreline development, and damage to wildlife, marine life, and other natural resources by restricting future federal financial assistance, establishing a coastal barrier resources system, and considering the means of achieving long-term conservation of barrier resources.
Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 1451 et seq.
The CZMA encourages states to develop coastal zone management programs that allow for growth and development that is compatible with the protection of natural resources. The CZMA provides financial and technical incentives for states to manage their coastal zones consistent with CZMA standards and goals.
The CZMA mentions in several places concepts related to recreation and tourism. For example, the congressional findings cite recreational and esthetic resources as being of value to the present and future well-being of the nation. The findings note that increasing and competing demands upon lands and waters of the coastal zone, including requirements for recreation, have resulted in the loss of important cultural, historic, and esthetic values in the coastal zone, which are essential to the well-being of all citizens. Further, the findings state, new and expanding demands for recreation activities in coastal and ocean waters are placing stress on these areas and are creating the need for resolution of serious conflicts among important and competing uses and values in these waters.
Management programs under the CZMA are required to include, among other things, certain elements related to recreational concerns, including planning processes for the protection of, and access to, public beaches and other public coastal areas of environmental, recreational, historical, esthetic, ecological, or cultural value, as well as procedures whereby specific areas may be designated for the purpose of preserving or restoring them for their conservation, recreational, ecological, historical or esthetic values.
The CZMA also allows the Secretary to make grants to coastal states to meet objectives including preservation or restoration of areas notable for their conservation, recreational, ecological, or esthetic values, and the provision of public access to beaches and other public coastal areas.
The CZMA also includes the National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NERRS), which consists of a network of representative estuarine ecosystems suitable for long-term research. In order to be designated as part of the NERRS, a reserve must serve to enhance public awareness and understanding of estuarine areas and provide suitable opportunities for public education and interpretation.
Federal Water Pollution Control Act, as amended, also called the Clean Water Act, as amended (CWA), 33 U.S.C. §§ 1251 et seq.
The CWA establishes the basic scheme for restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of the nation's waters. The primary mechanism in the CWA regulating the discharge of pollutants is the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), which is administered by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under the NPDES program, a permit is required from EPA or an authorized state for the discharge of any pollutant from a point source into the waters of the United States. This includes discharges associated with oil and gas development on federal leases beyond state waters. An NPDES permit for certain stormwater discharges also is required. Permit discharge limits are technology-based and, where technology-based limits would not protect desired water quality for a particular water body in which the discharge takes place, based on state water quality standards, which are developed by the states using EPA guidance and are intended to protect the designated uses of the water body. In the case of discharges to the territorial sea or beyond, permits are also subject to the ocean discharge criteria developed under section 403 of the act. Permits for discharges into the territorial sea or internal waters may be issued by states following approval of their permit program by EPA; in the absence of an approved state permit program, and for discharges beyond the territorial sea, EPA is the permit-issuing authority.
The CWA was amended in 1987 to include the current non-point source (NPS) program. Under this program (section 319), states must develop management programs to address NPS runoff, including the identification of best management practices and measures. In addition, section 319 authorizes grants to assist the states in implementing their approved management programs.
The CWA generally prohibits discharges of oil and hazardous substances into coastal or ocean waters except where permitted under the Protocol of 1978 Relating to the International Convention for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships. The U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) investigates and responds to discharges of oil and hazardous substances into coastal or ocean waters in accordance with the National Contingency Plan (NCP). The USCG, with the cooperation of EPA, generally administers the NCP when oil or a hazardous substance is discharged into coastal or ocean waters. Regional contingency plans and area contingency plans are developed to implement the NCP.
The CWA (section 312) requires vessels with installed toilet facilities and operating on the navigable waters of the U.S. to contain operable marine sanitation devices certified as meeting standards and regulations promulgated under section 312. Section 312 also allows establishment of zones where discharge of sewage from vessels is completely prohibited. Amendments made to section 312 in 1996 will require, where appropriate, the use of marine pollution control devices for operational, non-sewage, discharges from vessels of the Armed Forces.
Publicly owned sewage treatment facilities must, at a minimum, meet effluent reductions by secondary treatment, except for certain facilities discharging to coastal waters for which EPA has approved a waiver under section 301(h).
Section 320 of the CWA establishes the National Estuary Program, which uses a consensus-based approach for protecting and restoring estuaries. There are currently 28 estuaries in the program.
The Army Corps of Engineers (COE) implements the section 404 permit program. Under section 404, a permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill materials into the waters of the U.S. that lie inside of the baseline for the territorial seas and fill materials into the territorial seas within three miles of shore. Although COE has the permitting responsibility under the section 404 program except in certain waters of two states (Michigan and New Jersey), which have assumed the authority, EPA is authorized to review and comment on the impact of proposed dredge and fill activities and to prohibit discharges that would have an unacceptable impact on municipal water supplies, shellfish beds and fishery areas, wildlife and recreational areas. EPA, in consultation with COE, is charged with developing guidelines to be used in evaluating discharges subject to section 404. (See 40 C.F.R. Part 230.) The section 404 permit requirement is the cornerstone for the current wetlands regulatory program. If COE or EPA determines that a certain property is a jurisdictional wetlands, no one can discharge dredged or fill materials into it without a section 404 permit. COE and EPA also have cooperative agreements with the Natural Resources Conservation Service and rely on its determinations as to the presence of wetlands on agricultural lands.
National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 (NFIRA)
The NFIRA established the Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) program. The purpose of FMA is to plan and carry out activities designed to reduce the risk of flood damage to structures covered under contracts for flood insurance under this title. Section 1366 of the NFIRA assigns the FEMA Director the authority and responsibility for carrying out the program. 42 U.S.C. § 4104c. Section 1367 establishes the National Flood Mitigation Funds to fund FMA grants. 42 U.S.C. § 4104d.
The Flood Mitigation Assistance program, unlike the Stafford Act programs, are pre-disaster programs. There are three types of FMA grants. Planning grants assist states and communities in developing flood mitigation plans. Under section 1366 of the NFIRA, a FEMA- approved Flood Mitigaton Plan (FMP) is required in order for a state or community to receive a FMA project grant. Project grants fund eligible flood mitigation projects. FEMA encourages states to prioritize the mitigation activities outlined in their FMPs and fund projects that will greatly reduce or eliminate the risk of flood damage to buildings, manufactured homes, and other NFIP-insurable structures. Mitigation of repetitively or substantially damaged structures is a high priority. Technical assistance grants assist states in providing technical assistance to applicants in applying for the program or in implementing approved projects.
National Marine Sanctuaries Act (NMSA), 16 U.S.C. §§1431 et seq.
The NMSA provides the Secretary of Commerce with the authority to designate and manage nationally significant marine areas as national marine sanctuaries. The NMSA lists recreational and esthetic qualities as among the things that might give an area special national significance.
The NMSA's stated purposes and policies include comprehensive and coordinated conservation and management; enhancing public awareness, understanding, appreciation and wise use of the marine environment; and facilitating, to the extent compatible with the primary objective of resource protection, all public and private uses of resources not prohibited pursuant to other authorities.
Among the factors the Secretary must consider in determining whether an area merits designation as a national marine sanctuary are present and potential uses of the area that depend on maintenance of the area's resources, including commercial and recreational fishing, other commercial and recreational activities, and research and education; the public benefits to be derived from sanctuary status, with emphasis on the benefits of long-term protection of nationally significant resources, vital habitats, and resources which generate tourism.
National Park Service Organic Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1, 2-4
This act creates the National Park Service (the Service) in the Department of the Interior. The Service is charged with promoting and regulating the use of federal areas known as national parks, monuments, and reservations. Such areas are established by Congress through specific legislation.
National Wildlife Refuge System, 16 U.S.C. § 668dd
This section of law consolidates the authorities relating to the various categories of areas administered by the Secretary of the Interior for the conservation of fish and wildlife by designating all such areas part of the National Wildlife Refuge System (the System). The law prohibits knowingly disturbing, injuring, cutting, burning, removing, destroying, or possessing any real or personal property of the United States, including natural growth, in any area of the system, or taking or possessing any fish, bird, mammal, or other wild animals within any such area without a permit. The Secretary may permit areas within the System to be used for hunting, fishing, and public recreation when the Secretary determines such uses are compatible with the major purposes for which such areas were established.
Another section of law, 16 U.S.C. § 460k, recognizes the mounting public demands for recreational opportunities on areas administered by the Secretary of the Interior for fish and wildlife purposes, including areas within the System. This section provides that the Secretary may administer such areas as public recreation areas when the Secretary determines that public recreation is an appropriate incidental or secondary use. Such public recreation may be permitted only to the extent that it is not inconsistent with the primary objectives for which the particular area was established.
National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA), 16 U.S.C. §§ 470, et seq.
The NHPA is the largest piece of federal historic preservation legislation. It has two major components that affect the responsibilities of federal agencies managing submerged lands. First, under section 106 of the NHPA, federal agencies are to consider the effects of their undertakings (including the issuance of permits, the expenditure of federal funding and federal projects) on historic resources that are either eligible for listing or are listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Section 110 of the NHPA imposes another obligation on federal agencies that own or control historic resources. Under this section, federal agencies must consider historic preservation of historic resources as part of their management responsibilities.
National Wilderness Preservation System, 16 U.S.C. § 1131
This program establishes a system of federally owned "wilderness areas," which are administered for the use and enjoyment of the American people in such a manner as will leave the areas unimpaired for future use and enjoyment as wilderness. Such areas are managed by the Department of the Interior and by the agency that had jurisdiction over the area before its inclusion in the National Wilderness Preservation System.
Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), 33 U.S.C. §§ 2701 et seq., inter alia
OPA amends section 311 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act (the Clean Water Act or CWA), 33 U.S.C. 1321 et seq., to clarify federal response authority, increase penalties for spills, establish U.S. Coast Guard response organizations, require tank vessel and facility response plans, and provide for contingency planning in designated areas. OPA, however, does not preempt states' rights to impose additional liability or other requirements with respect to the discharge of oil within a state or to any removal activities in connection with such a discharge.
OPA is a comprehensive statute designed to expand oil spill prevention, preparedness, and response capabilities of the federal government and industry. OPA establishes a new liability regime for oil pollution incidents in the aquatic environment and provides the resources necessary for the removal of discharged oil. OPA consolidates several existing oil spill response funds into the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (Trust Fund), resulting in a $1-billion fund to be used to respond to, and provide compensation for damages caused by, discharges of oil. In addition, OPA provides new requirements of response planning by both government and industry and establishes new construction, manning, and licensing requirements for tank vessels. OPA also increases penalties for regulatory noncompliance and broadens the response and enforcement authorities of the federal government.
Title I of OPA contains liability provisions governing oil spills modeled after the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 9601 et seq., and section 311 of the CWA. Specifically, section 1002(a) of OPA provides that the responsible party for a vessel or facility from which oil is discharged, or which poses a substantial threat of a discharge, is liable for:
- certain specified damages resulting from the discharged oil; and
- removal costs incurred in a manner consistent with the National Contingency Plan.
The scope of damages for which there may be liability under section 1002 of OPA includes:
- natural resource damages, including the reasonable costs of assessing these damages;
- loss of subsistence use of natural resources;
- real or personal property damages;
- net loss of tax and other revenues;
- loss of profits or earning capacity; and
- net cost of additional public services provided during or after removal actions.
LIST OF ACRONYMS
CCMP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan
CZM Coastal Zone Management
EPA Environmental Protection Agency
FEMA Federal Emergency Management Agency
NEP National Estuary Program
NERRS National Estuarine Research Reserve System
NFIP National Flood Insurance Program
NMFS National Marine Fisheries Service
NMS National Marine Sanctuary
NOAA National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
NOS National Ocean Service
OAR (Office of) Oceanic and Atmospheric Research
OCRM (Office of) Ocean and Coastal Resource Management