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Selecting Human Dimensions Indicators for South Florida’s Coastal Marine Ecosystem – Noneconomic Indicators

Author(s): Lovelace, Susan; Pamela Fletcher; Maria Dillard; William Nuttle; Shona Patterson; Peter Ortner; David Loomis; Manoj Shivlani


Place of Publication: Miami, Fla.

Publication Type: Report

Date of Publication: 2013

Reference Information: MARES Whitepaper

Extent of Work: 39 pp.

Keywords: MARES; South Florida; human dimensions; indicators; noneconomic

Abstract: The Marine and Estuarine Goal Setting for South Florida (MARES) project is developing a suite of indicators and indices that can provide an integrated assessment of the South Florida coastal marine ecosystem. Indicators, in this context, incorporate data on one or more variables to assess conditions in the coastal marine environment and communities of people who depend on it. In the latter case, human dimensions (HD) indicators use data that are either economic or non-economic in character to assess the services and benefits that the ecosystem provides to people. These are known as human dimensions indicators because they relate to the human dimensions of the ecosystem. The development of human dimensions indicators is proceeding along two paths: HD economic indicators and HD non-economic indicators. This distinction was made due to differences in human dimensions science methodologies and the expertise of the researchers involved in the MARES project. This whitepaper describes the development of a set of human dimensions non-economic indicators. The HD non-economic indicators focus on aspects of human dimensions science, excepting economics, but including cultural, regulating and provision services generated by the coastal marine ecosystem. The HD non-economic and HD economic indicators gather together complementary sets of information that, together, reflect how ecosystem services are incorporated into society; they track the link between human well-being and ecosystem health, success of management goals, and overall benefits that society receives from South Florida’s natural resources. They provide information and context to adapt and improve, add, replace or remove projects as new scientific information becomes available.

Availability: Available from the MARES website ( and

Related Attachment: Download file (.pdf)