Product Type: Report
Author(s): Hamilton, D.B., A.K. Andrews, G.T. Auble, R.A. Ellison, R.L. Johnson, J.E. Roelle, and M.J. Staley
Hamilton, D.B., A.K. Andrews, G.T. Auble, R.A. Ellison, R.L. Johnson, J.E. Roelle, and M.J. Staley. 1982. Results of a modeling workshop concerning economic and environmental trends and concomitant resource management issues in the Mobile Bay area. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Western Energy and Land Use Team . 84 p.
This publication was originally published by Western Energy and Land Use Team, Office of Biological Services, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service .
During the past decade, the southern regions of the U.S. have experienced rapid change which is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. Growth in population, industry, and resource development has been attributed to a variety of advantages such as an abundant and inexpensive labor force, a mild climate, and the availability of energy, water, land, and other natural resources. While this growth has many benefits for the region, it also creates the potential for increased air, water, and solid waste pollution, and modification of natural habitats.
A workshop was convened to consider the Mobile Bay area as a site-specific case of growth and its environmental consequences in the southern region. The objectives of the modeling workshop were to:
This report summarizes the activities and results of a modeling workshop concerning economic growth and concomitant resource management issues in the Mobile Bay area.
The workshop was organized around construction of a simulation model representing the relationships between a series of actions and indicators identified by participants. The workshop model had five major components:
The workshop was successful in identifying many of the critical interrelations between components of the Mobile area system. Not all of these interactions, such as the feedback of air quality as a limitation on development, could be incorporated in the workshop model because of the modelís broad spatial scale and because of uncertainties or data gaps. Thus, the value of the modeling workshop was in the areas outlined below, rather than in the predictive power of the initial model developed at the workshop.
First, participants developed a holistic perspective on the interactions which will determine future economic and environmental trends within the Mobile Bay area. Potential environmental consequences and limitations to growth identified at the workshop included: shoreline and water access; water quality of Mobile Bay; finfish and shellfish habitat quality with respect to dissolved oxygen and coliforms; air quality; and acreage of critical wetland habitat. Second, the model's requirements for specific, quantitative information stimulated supporting analyses, such as economic input-output calculations, which provide additional insight into the Mobile Bay area system. Third, the perspective of the Mobile area as an interacting system was developed in an open, cooperative forum which may provide a foundation for conflict resolution based on common understanding. Finally, the identification of model limitations and uncertainties should be useful in guiding the efficient allocation of future research effort.