About Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM)

Human activities on land and in the ocean are changing coastal and marine ecosystems and threatening their ability to provide important benefits to society, such as healthy and abundant seafood, clean beaches, and protection from storms and flooding.  Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) is an innovative management approach to address these challenges.  It considers the whole ecosystem, including humans and the environment, rather than managing one issue or resource in isolation. Key aspects of EBM include:

  • Integration of ecological, social, and economic goals and recognition of humans as key components of the ecosystem.
  • Consideration of ecological- not just political- boundaries.
  • Accounting for the complexity of natural processes and social systems and using an adaptive management approach in the face of resulting uncertainties.
  • Engaging multiple stakeholders in a collaborative process to define problems and find solutions.
  • Incorporating understanding of ecosystem processes and how ecosystems respond to environmental perturbations.
  • Concerned with the ecological integrity of coastal-marine systems and the sustainability of both human and ecological systems.