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1 September 2016 Needs Assessment of Coastal Land Managers for Drought Onset Indicators in the Southeastern United States
Casey B. Nolan, Daniel L. Tufford, David R. Chalcraft
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Nolan, C.B.; Tufford, D.L., and Chalcraft, D.R., 2016. Needs assessment of coastal land managers for drought onset indicators in the southeastern United States.

The ability to detect the onset of drought is important to coastal resource managers because the knowledge enhances preparedness and mitigation. Existing drought indicators, however, were generally designed with agricultural, hydrological, meteorological, socio-economic, or wildfire management in mind and generally quantify deficits in freshwater availability. It is unclear whether coastal resource managers find existing indicators adequate for managing coastal resources and, if not, what information would be most useful to manage resources under threat of drought. A needs assessment was conducted with 30 land managers and natural resource specialists of the coastal Carolinas region to enhance the understanding of drought indicators and to comprehend the indicators' utility for managing coastal natural resources. Eighty-three percent of participants believed that early drought detection was important for their management efforts, yet only 33% were aware of existing drought indicators. Half of the participants stated that drought indicators needed to be specifically focused on a particular kind of habitat, but 90% thought that a single index could be useful for multiple coastal habitats with broad similarities. All participants who stated a current need for an early-warning drought indicator (83%) emphasized indicator parameters that reflected both freshwater availability and impacts on ecological resources, but 86% of the participants indicated that they may not have the resources to collect such data. The results revealed common priorities and concerns among coastal resource managers and exposed opportunities to incorporate parameters of shared interest into a drought indicator tailored to the early detection of drought through the inclusion of ecological parameters.

Casey B. Nolan, Daniel L. Tufford, and David R. Chalcraft "Needs Assessment of Coastal Land Managers for Drought Onset Indicators in the Southeastern United States," Journal of Coastal Research 32(5), 1016-1024, (1 September 2016).
Received: 22 September 2015; Accepted: 15 December 2015; Published: 1 September 2016

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