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Coastal dynamics vs beach users attitudes and perceptions to enhance environmental conservation and management effectiveness

Aretano, Roberta, Parlagreco, Luca, Semeraro, Teodoro, Zurlini, Giovanni, Petrosillo, Irene
Marine pollution bulletin 2017 v.123 no.1-2 pp. 142-155
attitudes and opinions, coastal water, coasts, conservation areas, environmental protection, habitats, humans, land use, landscapes, planning, questionnaires, surveys, tourists, water pollution, water quality
This work carries out a landscape analysis for the last 60years to compare the degree of preservation of two areas on the same Italian coastline characterized by different environmental protection levels: a National designated protected areas and a highly tourist coastal destination. The conversion of natural land-covers into human land uses were detected for protected and unprotected coastal stretches highlighting that the only establishment of a protected area is not enough to stem undesirable land-use outcomes. A survey analysis was also conducted to assess attitudes of beach users and to evaluate their perception of natural habitats, beach and coastal water quality, and coastal dynamic over time. The results of 2071 questionnaires showed that there is similarity between subjective and objective data. However, several beach users perceived a bad quality of coastal water in the legally unprotected coastal area. The implications from a planning and management perspective are discussed.