Proposed Abstract Title

“Sense of Place:” Human Well-being Considerations for Ecological Restoration in Puget Sound

Type of Presentation

Oral

Session Title

Human Wellbeing Related to the Salish Sea

Location

2016SSEC

Description

Sense of place is increasingly recognized as key to human wellbeing in social-ecological systems. Yet there is limited understanding about how to define and evaluate it for restoration. Here, we examine the connections between sense of place and human well-being for Puget Sound restoration in the context of shellfish harvesting and other shoreline activities. Using a mixed-methods approach, including semi-structured interviews and guided workshops with tribal and non-tribal residents, we examined sense of place in two regions of Puget Sound. Empirical results show that people’s meanings of sense of place are multi-dimensional and derived from: 1) activities in the near-shore; 2) the practice of cultural and familial heritage; 3) sensory and emotional experiences; and, 4) the maintenance and thickening of social connections. We also found that three conditions play important roles in enabling and fostering place attachment: access, knowledge, and ecological integrity. Improved understanding of a practice-based sense of place is key to the success of creating and enacting successful, resident-supported restoration activities.

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“Sense of Place:” Human Well-being Considerations for Ecological Restoration in Puget Sound

2016SSEC

Sense of place is increasingly recognized as key to human wellbeing in social-ecological systems. Yet there is limited understanding about how to define and evaluate it for restoration. Here, we examine the connections between sense of place and human well-being for Puget Sound restoration in the context of shellfish harvesting and other shoreline activities. Using a mixed-methods approach, including semi-structured interviews and guided workshops with tribal and non-tribal residents, we examined sense of place in two regions of Puget Sound. Empirical results show that people’s meanings of sense of place are multi-dimensional and derived from: 1) activities in the near-shore; 2) the practice of cultural and familial heritage; 3) sensory and emotional experiences; and, 4) the maintenance and thickening of social connections. We also found that three conditions play important roles in enabling and fostering place attachment: access, knowledge, and ecological integrity. Improved understanding of a practice-based sense of place is key to the success of creating and enacting successful, resident-supported restoration activities.