The Blue Economy: (In)Justice in the Urban Sea?

Authors: Michaela Garland*,
Topics: Coastal and Marine, Coastal and Marine
Keywords: Blue Economy; Long Island Sound; social justice; sustainable development; GIS
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/3/2019
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM
Room: Marshall West, Marriott, Mezzanine Level
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


In a time where sustainable management of the ocean and its resources is now more relevant than ever, many countries and regions have begun to adopt Blue Economy policy initiatives that aim to promote both economic and environmental sustainable development. The concept and practice have spawned a rich, and diverse, body of scholarly activity. Yet despite this, there is ambiguity around what the Blue Economy is, what it encapsulates, and its practices. It is paradoxical at a time of substantial interest in the Blue Economy that little research actively explores the geographical components; sustainability dilemmas; and justice components around this emerging research agenda. These concepts are even more apparent given that Blue Economy initiatives are implemented from a top-down, rather than a bottom-up, approach. This paper utilises a mixed-methodological approach that explores the geographical dimensions of the State of Connecticut’s Blue Plan for Long Island Sound using GIS and presents findings from focus groups outlining residents’ perspectives on potential contributions and impacts to the state economy and sustainable development. Findings from focus groups illustrate the relative importance of the Blue Plan for economic and sustainable development at the local and state level. Implications from these findings will outline the effectiveness for implementing a Blue Economy initiative in Long Island Sound, and the impacts this has on local residents and stakeholders. The paper concludes with insights into how the Blue Plan could be implemented to maximise the effectiveness of the fisheries and energy industries in Long Island Sound.

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