Ecosystem service assessments are a top priority at many reserves in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. However, within ecosystem services research, there is a critical gap surrounding the equitable representation of cultural ecosystem services (CES) — one of four main categories of ecosystem services. The inclusion of CES in natural resource planning is critical, as they encompass the diverse suite of interactions between humans and the environment that maintain place-based values, worldviews, cultural identity, and well-being.
Through a catalyst grant, a project team worked with two sites in the Pacific – He‘eia Reserve in Hawai‘i and Kachemak Bay Reserve in Alaska – to advance the equitable representation of CES in estuary stewardship. In this webinar, three project team members discuss strategies implemented to deepen and expand the meaningful inclusion of CES in estuary stewardship and management. They share lessons learned in identifying and implementing CES in reserve management and in co-designing deliverables and approaches for end user needs.