David J. Trimbach, Lori Clark, Laura Rivas, Barbara Lyon Bennett, Gwendolyn A. G. Hannam, John Lovie, PaulBen McElwain & Jacqueline Delie (2022) Examining coastal sense of place through community geography in Island County, Washington, Landscape Research, DOI: 10.1080/01426397.2022.2092087
The world’s coastlines are changing, partly the result of population growth and shoreline development (e.g., infrastructure). Coastal landscape changes are reflected and experienced at the local scale, where landscape modifications and their impacts take place. Island County, Washington (U.S.) is experiencing such changes. Island County’s 349 kilometres of coastline are being impacted by the growing threat of coastal infrastructure, which hardens the shoreline and negatively impacts natural nearshore processes and habitats. Coastal changes also impact communities and their connections to the landscape. Through a community geography approach, this paper examines Island County residents’ coastal sense of place. Respondents overall have a strong coastal sense of place, including shared place meanings. This strong sense of place is associated with shoreline visit frequency and feelings about change. The paper’s findings demonstrate how residents feel and connect to the coastline, and why such local insights matter to coastal planning and recovery.