Stemming decline of the coastal ocean: rethinking environmental management

The coastal marine environment provides enormous value in fishery and other products and in ecosystem services including coastal protection, water purification, and appropriate locations for ports, harbors, urban centers, tourist destinations, and numerous recreational pursuits. Current management practices are ineffective and to continue them will endanger coastal economies and ecosystems that support over one half of the world's population. The trend for coastal marine ecosystems over recent decades has been for progressive decline in the face of growing human populations, growing demand for coastal marine resources, and growing use of the coastal environment. Now climate change is starting to add to the pressures on the coastal marine environment, further stressing ecosystems there. This document, briefly surveys the current state of the coastal ocean environment.