Monitoring visitor impacts in coastal parks: a review of techniques

Document Type

Conference Paper

Journal/Book Title

Proceedings of the George Wright Society/ National Park Service Joint Conference April14-‐‐18, 2003

Publication Date


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Coastal areas, particularly sandy coasts and barrier islands, are prime destinations for outdoor recreation activities, yet the same zones possess diverse, dynamic, and, often, sensitive ecosystems (Beatley et al. 2002). There are 295 barrier islands, totaling 2,700 miles of barrier length in the 18 eastern U.S. states alone (Leatherman 1988). Visitor use and impacts are an important and growing concern in national parks located in these sensitive zones. Activities such as the use of off-road vehicles (ORVs), walking on the beach or dunes, and feeding wildlife can trample vegetation, accelerate soil erosion, reduce sand dune height, and change wildlife behavior.

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