Front Cover
 Title Page

Title: Isle au haut principles
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00096256/00001
 Material Information
Title: Isle au haut principles ecosystem management and the case of South Florida
Physical Description: 1 v. (various pagings) : ill. ; 28 cm.
Language: English
Publisher: United States Dept. of State, Human-Dominated Systems Directorate
Place of Publication: Washington, D. C.
Publication Date: 1994
Subject: Ecosystem management -- Florida, South   ( lcsh )
Biotic communities -- Florida, South   ( lcsh )
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
General Note: "September 1994."
General Note: "U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program, Human-Dominated Systems Directorate."
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Bibliographic ID: UF00096256
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier: oclc - 32170505

Table of Contents
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        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
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Full Text

United States Department of State -

Isle au Haut Principles:

Ecosystem Management

Sand the Case of South Flo


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Human-Dominated Systems Directorate


The mission of the U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program
(U.S. MAB) is to foster harmonious relationships between
humans and the biosphere through an international program of
policy-relevant research that integrates the social, physical, and
biological sciences to address actual problems.

The program is organized into six directorates: Biosphere
Reserves; High Latitude Ecosystems; Human-Dominated
Systems; Marine and Coastal Ecosystems; Temperate Ecosys-
tems; and Tropical Ecosystems.

U.S. MAB is supported by the U.S. Department of Agriculture-
Forest Service, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Depart-
ment of the Interior-National Park Service, the U.S. Department
of State, the Agency for International Development, the Envi-
ronmental Protection Agency, the National Aeronautics and
Space Administration, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric
Administration, the National Biological Survey, the National
Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Peace
Corps, and the Smithsonian Institution.

The opinions, conclusions, and recommendations expressed in
U.S. MAB publications are those of the authors and do not
necessarily reflect the views of the participating agencies and
institutions. Inquiries concerning the U.S. MAB Program
should be addressed to the U.S. MAB Secretariat, OES/EGC/
MAB, U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C. 20522-0508.

Available from the National Technical Information Service
(NTIS), U.S. Department of Commerce, 5285 Port Royal Road,
Springfield, VA 22161
No. NTIS PS 94-201977

Released September 1994

Isle au Haut Principles:
Ecosystem Management
and the Case of South Florida

U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program
Systems Directorate

Isle au Haut Principles

he U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program is con-
ducting a 5-year interdisciplinary study on
ecosystem management for sustainability. In
June 1994 at Isle au Haut, Maine, a charette was con-
vened to apply these concepts to South Florida as a case
study. The charette concluded that what is being done
now for Everglades restoration will not achieve ecologi-
cal sustainability. A sustainable South Florida envi-
ronment is achievable only through utilizing ecosys-
tem management principles that recognize the inter-
dependency of humans and their environment. The
resulting vision for South Florida would provide for

the long-term security of
both the ecological and
agricultural systems of the
region, while supporting
the adjacent urban area.

The core of the South
Florida ecosystem is the
Everglades Biosphere Re-
serve, a treasured natural
resource of significant re-
gional, national, and inter-
national value. It is part of
a human-dominated South
Florida ecosystem, whose
ecological sustainability is
threatened by the pressures
of urban and agricultural

The upland, wetland, and
coastal ecological systems that
make up the Everglades of
South Florida are unique in the
world. The people of South
Florida require the economic
support, clean water supply,
flood control, recreational
experiences, environmental
quality, and aesthetic values
that only a healthy Everglades
can provide.

The natural Everglades originally spanned vast areas
between the eastern and western coastal ridges from Lake
Okeechobee through the interior of Southern Florida and
opened into Florida Bay and the Gulf Coast estuaries.
Although most urban development has been concen-
trated along the upland ridges, since the early 1900s this
ecosystem has undergone extensive habitat loss and deg-
radation as a result of major hydrological and other physi-
cal alterations designed to accommodate human activi-
ties. The cumulative pressures of rapid population
growth along the southeastern coast of Florida and the
conversion of wetlands to agricultural lands in the north-
ern and southeastern reaches of the ecosystem have de-

graded the remaining Ever-
glades and surrounding pro-
tected wetland and upland ar-

Today, only half of the natural
Everglades remains and a
mere 20 percent of the original
ecosystem falls within the
boundaries of the Everglades
Biosphere Reserve, which con-
stitutes our nation's most en-
dangered national park. Some
large-scale approaches to man-
agement of the ecosystem
have been undertaken, espe-
cially focused on nutrients and
endangered species, but the
fundamental loss of habitat
and water remains to be con-

The environment of South
Florida has much more water
on an average annual basis
than is required to support all
anticipated urban, agricultural,
and ecological needs.
However, under the present
water management system,
the major portion of
freshwater is lost to the sea,
creating competition among
users. The ultimate issue is
not competing water needs
but the storage and wise
management of this
renewable resource.

Isle au Haut Charette

The U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program (U.S. MAB)
Human-Dominated Systems Directorate (HDS) is con-
ducting an independent scientific study to define eco-
logical sustainability in the context of regional, water-
shed-based ecosystems, advance ecosystem management

principles, and apply them
to the South Florida

Three years of planning
and research activities in-
volving over 100 scientists
culminated in an intensive
workshop, or charette, on
the South Florida/Ever-
glades ecosystem from
June 5-16, 1994, at Isle au
Haut, Maine. The charette
participants were a broadly
diverse group of more than
40 natural and social scien-
tists with particular exper-
tise in ecosystem manage-
ment of the South Florida

The Everglades ecosystem has
become a significantly degraded
remnant of the natural ecosystem.
The dominant force causing this
degradation is the lack of adequate
quantities and timely distribution of
water to match the natural cycles of
the Everglades. We are faced not
just with endangered species but
much more critically with
endangered ecosystems.

The charette established a new model of human/envi-
ronment interactions and developed hydrological and
ecological sustainability goals for the South Florida land-
scape. Scenario-consequence analyses were used to ex-
amine a range of regional management options with re-
spect to agricultural and ecological sustainability and the
needs of urban communities. The charette reached con-
sensus on ecosystem management principles and articu-
lated a vision for a sustainable South Florida.

Ecosystem Management Principles

Much attention is
currently fo-
cused on the
South Florida ecosystem by
policy makers, scientists,
and natural resource man-
agers at all levels. Activi-
ties include a White House
ecosystem management
initiative, a federal inter-
agency task force, a
Governor's commission,
and many agency pro-
grams at federal, state, and
local levels.

Ecosystem management is
emerging as an innovative
framework for achieving
harmonious and mutually
dependent sustainability of
society and the environ-
ment. Ecosystem manage-
ment focuses on human
and natural systems at
regional scales across
intergenerational time

South Rorida Vision

The Greater Everglades
ecosystem is a unique regional
and national resource of global
significance whose continued
existence is severely threaten-
ed. Our vision is to recover
and sustain a healthy South
Florida ecosystem including a
diverse human culture and its
social and economic needs.

The ecosystem manage-
ment principles crystal-
lized at Isle au Haut reflect
currently developing con-
cepts and the relevant sci-
entific literature. These re-
sulting principles must be
considered as an integrated

Ecosystem Management


* Use an ecological approach that would recover and
maintain the biological diversity, ecological function,
and defining characteristics of natural ecosystems.

* Recognize that humans are part of ecosystems, and
they shape and are shaped by the natural systems; the
sustainability of ecological and societal systems are
mutually dependent

* Adopt a management approach that recognizes
ecosystems and institutions are characteristically
heterogeneous in time and space.

* Integrate sustained economic and community activity
into the management of ecosystems.

* Develop a shared vision of desired human/environ-
mental conditions.

* Provide for ecosystem governance at appropriate
ecological and institutional scales.

* Use adaptive management as the mechanism for
achieving both desired outcomes and new understand-
ings regarding ecosystem conditions.

* Integrate the best science available into the decision
making process, while continuing scientific research to
reduce uncertainties.

* Implement ecosystem management principles
through coordinated government and non-government
plans and activities.

A Model of Human-
Environment Interactions

Historically, environmental and natural resource

management was viewed as separable from so-
cial and economic concerns. The model pro-
posed by the charette sets as its goal the complete inte-
gration of ecological and societal components so that eco-
system management can be fully effective and success-
ful. This is founded on the premise that humans are an
integral part of ecosystems, that people both shape and
are shaped by natural systems, and that society is nur-
tured by the maintenance of sustainable ecosystems.

The charette examined human-environment interactions,
including economic, legal, social, and demographic
issues, and characterized the connections between hu-
mans and natural systems as interdependent. Societal
systems affect the environment through land use, pollu-
tion, competition for resources, and other ecosystem uses,
and the environment provides a diversity of essential
support to societal systems and the quality of human life.
The charette also considered issues of governance, re-
source management, and societal and cultural values.
The importance of a sustainable ecosystem to society's
basic needs, to the quality of human life, and to the in-
tangible but powerful human sense of environmental
ethics was seen as a driving force in society's efforts to
sustain the Everglades and other irreplaceable natural

Ecological Sustainability Goals

he loss of more than half of the original Everglades

ecosystem makes full restoration and a complete
return to historical conditions impossible. The
charette, therefore, defined ecological sustainability goals
as the recovery of the defining features of the original Ever-
glades. Two critical ecological characteristics are the de-
fining features for sustainability of the natural dynamics
of the Everglades. Large space and time scales supported
large populations of animals; localized climatic condi-
tions, disturbances such as fires, freezes, and storms, and
small variations in topography created and maintained
a complex mosaic of habitats across the landscape. This
mosaic is necessary to support the teeming life that was
characteristic of the natural

The abundant native spe-
cies and diverse mosaic of
habitats of the natural Ev-
erglades were sustained by
an inter-play of fundamen-
tal organizing forces across
the landscape: the large
spatial scale of the system,
the patterns of dynamic
water storage and sheet
flow, and the low water
nutrient levels of the re-
gion. These features must
be restored if a healthy Ev-
erglades is ever again to be

Ecological sustainability requires
the scientific identification of an
interacting set of ecological and
societal conditions that
constitute a healthy
environment. The ecosystem
management process is
designed to adapt human/
environment interactions in
order to achieve ecological and
societal sustainability goals.

Scenario Consequence Analysis

he Isle au Haut charette used a scenario-conse-

quence approach to explore a range of spatially
explicit management options. It was agreed that
the present system is not ecologically sustainable. Some
of the hypothetical scenarios appeared inadequate to
meet ecological sustainability goals or appeared incon-
sistent with societal constraints. Other scenarios suggest
a potential win-win
situation, establishing
both sustainable agri-
Ecological sustainability of a cultural and sustainable
healthy Everglades requires ecological systems
reestablishment of much of the while also meeting an-
natural hydrological system in ticipated urban needs.
order to provide the water
quantity, timing, and
distribution. This is necessary
over a sufficiently large area to
support the ecological
components, such as wading
birds and a mosaic of habitats,
that constitute the essence
and uniqueness of the

Toward a Shared Vision

Further analysis of these scenarios should become
part of the continuing local, state, and federal dia-
logue on the future of the South Florida ecosys-
tem. The ecological, agricultural, and societal conse-
quences of a range of scenarios need to be analyzed in
more detail to confirm the
initial findings of the
charette. This continuing A complex process exam
process is essential to re-
ducing uncertainty and to the requirements for a
developing a shared vi- sustainable South Florida h
sion for a sustainable recently been established a
South Florida. federal state anri Inal lvu


al A

Throughout the charette,
the participants sought to
balance the needs of the
human population, the
historical agricultural sec-
tor, and the unique and in-
expressibly beautiful Ever-
glades. Through the spirit
and synergism of the
people who gathered at
Isle au Haut, a vision has
now emerged for a sus-
tainable South Florida eco-

continuing dialogue among
governmental, academic, and
public groups is essential, using
the Isle au Haut ecosystem
management framework for
ecological and agricultural
sustainability. The principles and
conclusions of the Isle au Haut
charette offer a vision of a win-
win situation for achieving long-
term regional security and
sustainability. This process is a
rare and critical opportunity that
must be seized.

U. S. Man and the Biosphere

Program Human-Dominated

Systems Directorate

Dr. Mark A. Harwell
Human-Dominated Systems Directorate
U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program
Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science
4600 Rickenbacker Causeway
Miami, Florida 33149

Dr. John F. Long
Population Division Room 2372-3
Bureau of the Census
Washington, DC 20233

Dr. Ann M. Bartuska
National Biological Survey
Implementation Task Force
Mail Stop 2242-MIB
1849 C Street, N.W.
Washington, DC 20240

Dr. Richard Hamann
Center for Governmental Responsibility
230 Bruton-Geer Hall
University of Florida College of Law
Gainesville, FL 32611

Dr. Michael Slimak
Office of Environmental Processes and Effects
Environmental Protection Agency RD-682
401 M Street, S.W.
Washington, DC 20460

Dr. Joseph Zieman, Jr.
Department of Environmental Sciences
Clark Hall
University of Virginia
Charlottesville, VA 22903

Dr. Ezra B. W. Zubrow
Department of Anthropology
380 Millard Filmore Academic Center
State University of New York at Buffalo
Buffalo, NY 14261

Dr. James A. Wilson
Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics
University of Maine
Orono, ME 04469

Dr. John H. Gentile
Science Coordinator U.S. EPA
Environmental Research Lab
27 Tazwell Drive
Narragansett, RI 02882

Dr. Steven Light
Office of Planning
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources
500 Lafayette Road
St. Paul, MN 55155

Participant Affiliations

* U.S. State Department-U.S. Man and the Biosphere
Program Secretariat
* U.S. NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service
* U.S. NOAA Sanctuaries and Reserve Division
* U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Narragansett
Environmental Research Laboratory
* U.S. National Biological Survey/U.S. Forest Service
* U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Regional Office
* U.S. Bureau of the Census Population Division
* White House Task Force on Ecosystem Management
* Governor's Commission for a Sustainable South
* Everglades National Park
* South Florida Water Management District
* University of Miami
* University of Florida
* Florida State University
* Florida Atlantic University/Florida International
University Joint Center for Environmental and
Urban Problems
* Miami University (Ohio)
* University of Virginia
* State University of New York-Buffalo

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