Date of Graduation

Spring 5-16-2014

Document Type

Project/Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Science in Environmental Management (MSEM)

Department/Program

Environmental Management

First Advisor

Gretchen Coffman

Abstract

Many restoration efforts have been implemented recently to offset the rapid degradation of mangrove ecosystem worldwide, especially in Southeast Asia where the largest area of mangrove ecosystem can be found. Two primary approaches used for mangrove ecosystem restoration include the plantation approach and the ecological mangrove restoration (EMR) approach. Monoculture plantation is the most common technique used in plantation approach, which usually results in low species diversity. The EMR approach on the other hand, focuses on correcting the hydrology of restoration sites first. Planting can be used as part of the adaptive management process if mangrove seedlings and propagules do not recolonize naturally. The lack of site understanding in project planning, the lack of project documentation, and the lack of monitoring data are the three main reasons for the failure of many mangrove ecosystem restoration projects as well as the inability to compare restoration approaches. Therefore, careful planning has to be implemented before restoration occurs. I documented previous attempts of both mangrove ecosystem restoration approaches and found that most of these attempts lacked scientific data to support their true effectiveness. As a result, I have developed a monitoring protocol for Southeast Asia to be incorporated into the final stages of every mangrove ecosystem restoration project. The protocol consists of overall site documentation and three levels of monitoring that includes: Level 1 – a transect based survey, Level 2 – monitoring of permanent plots, and Level 3 – sedimentation monitoring. The goal of developing this monitoring protocol was to use this to evaluate the success of each mangrove restoration project after restoration, use adaptive management techniques when projects are not on the correct restoration trajectory, and to eventually evaluate various mangrove ecosystem restoration approaches used in Southeast Asia.

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