Marine access and understanding in deprived communities: Implications for health, well-being and ecosystem management
Background and Objectives: There is mounting evidence that access to the sea/coast contributes to human health and well-being, and may provide greater health benefits for deprived coastal communities than non-deprived ones. However, research suggests that deprived communities are under-represented in marine access and engagement activities, environmental and marine issues, and ocean literacy. A deprived community can be described as one with the potential for health risk from ecological concentration of poverty, unemployment, economic disinvestment, and social disorganization (Anderson 1997, p.42). Against this backdrop, we aim to investigate the social and cultural factors influencing sea/coastal access and understanding in two deprived communities in the United States and United Kingdom. Method: An in-depth, case study approach is being used, including focus groups, individual interviews, and participant observation. Data from Stages 1 and 2 (of 3) were analyzed using multiple forms of narrative analysis to gain rich insight into this understudied topic. Results and Discussion: Emerging themes from the data analysis from the US case studies include the influence of historic racial segregation, beach management policies, and cultural identity on marine access and understanding. This research will provide an increased understanding into how the deprived communities in this study make sense of marine issues and the environment; identify social and cultural barriers and facilitators to coastal access; and offer new avenues to engage deprived communities in marine environmental health-related behaviors.
Assessment of individual and community needs for health education
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Social and behavioral sciences
Discuss the influence of family, peers, and community norms on perceived relevance, risks, and benefits of the sea/coast to human health.
Explain why people, who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods, and appear to have adequate geographic access to recreational marine environments do, or do not, access these environments
Keyword(s): Environment, Health Behavior
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the PhD student who is conducting the project in the US and UK. I will be responsible for conducting, analyzing, writing up and publishing all work resulting from this project.
Any relevant financial relationships? No
I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines,
and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed
in my presentation.