The Deal Island Marsh and Community Project
"The Deal Island Marsh and Community Project" (DIMCP) was funded by the NOAA NERRS Science Collaborative from 2012-2015 to test the use of collaborative research projects (CRPs) as a platform for facilitating collaborative learning and collaborative science -- the integration of local experiential knowledge with scientific knowledge in studying phenomena and developing solutions. The DIMCP was the predecessor of the Deal Island Peninsula Partnership, and led to the formation of what would later be known as the Deal Island Peninsula Partnership.
The CRPs brought together small, but diverse teams of stakeholders to develop research priorities and activities around three broad focus areas: marsh restoration, heritage, and flooding/shoreline erosion. Each CRP team included social & natural scientists, community residents, resource managers, and non-governmental organization staff. They were particularly valuable for integrating a range of knowledge and values into discussions about vulnerabilities, and developing shared understandings of complex socio-ecological dynamics affecting the resilience of the Deal Island peninsula communities and marshes.
The CRPs led to valuable research findings on marsh restoration benefits; stakeholder understandings of resilience and vulnerability; and stakeholder values of the social-ecological services of area marshes. It was also through the CRPs that additional needs and goals were defined for future network activities. In addition to the CRPs, other research (e.g. stakeholder network analysis) was carried out as part of the DIMCP to document the collaborative process. To learn more about the project, visits the DIMCP links available on the lefthand menu.