Responding to coastal problems: Interactive knowledge development in a US nature restoration project

Seijger, C., van Tatenhove, J., Dewulf, G., & Otter, H. S. (2014). Responding to coastal problems: Interactive knowledge development in a US nature restoration project. Ocean & coastal management, 89, 29-38.

Coastal decision-making is impacted by global climate change and region-specific changes related to population growth, economic activities and the natural environment. This results in complex and interdependent problems. Addressing these problems requires the involvement of decision-makers, researchers and other societal actors in knowledge production. However, such means of knowledge production are poorly understood when it comes to coastal regions. Using a conceptual framework that makes a distinction between project arrangements and knowledge arrangements, this paper analyses interactive knowledge development in a nature restoration project on the US West Coast. The project adopted a collaborative approach, and involved diverse organisations in developing knowledge for reaching its restoration solutions. The case study analysis results in seven causal mechanisms. The mechanisms are divided into two groups. One group discusses processes that affect interactive knowledge development, such as the need for public support. The other group explains how interactive knowledge development functions, for example through facilitation and the creation of safe environments for researchers and regulators. Through identifying these mechanisms, this paper contributes to an improved understanding of interactive knowledge development in coastal regions.