Coastal CURA - Community University Research Alliance

Participatory Integrated Management of Coastal Resources


Project Description:
The Coastal CURA was a five-year research project (2006-2011), funded through the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), which involved two universities (UNB Fredericton and Saint Mary’s University in Halifax), four First Nations and a number of coastal communities and resource centers.
Four Project Goals:
▪ improved effectiveness in governance of coastal resources;
▪ enhanced community research capacity to further local management;
▪ a Maritimes network for integrated management, through a strong network of partners;
▪ research innovations and knowledge generation through research focused on community-based management theory and outcomes.

Who Was Involved:


Figure 2: Members of the Coastal CURA team
From Left: Back row: Liz Wilson (PhD Student), Randy Angus (MCPEI), Melanie Wiber (UNB), Sheena Young (FNFA), Hubert Saulnier (FFGC), Tony Charles (SMU).
Front row: Courtenay Parlee (MA Student), Donna Curtis (PhD Student), Madelaine Patterson (CURA Coordinator), Carolea White (FFGC)
Photo courtesy of Madelaine Patterson

▪ Academic partners included academics from across Canada, including Tony Charles (SMU) who was principal investigator, and the following co-applicants: Melanie Wiber (UNB), John Kearney (UNB), Murray Rudd (MUN, Grenfell College), Lyn Pinkerton (SFU), Fikret Berkes (UManitoba), and Alison Evans (Dal).
▪ Community partners were from around the Maritime region, including: the Fundy Fixed Gear Council, Fundy North Fishermen’s Association, and the Digby Clam Harvester’s Association.
▪ First Nation partners included: Acadia First Nation, Bear River First Nation and the Mi’kmaq Confederacy of Prince Edward Island (Lennox Island and Abegweit).
▪ Resource centers included the Bay of Fundy Marine Resource Center and the Coastal Livelihoods Trust.

Over the five years, all community partners were involved in research projects that identified local problems, met local needs, and drew on academic resources to identify resources, guide research methods and organize students or staff to carry out the research and disseminate the results.
Project Themes:
All individual projects collaboratively undertaken by the CURA partners fell under three broad themes:
▪ Reflection and Evaluation Methods: Learning from Past Experiences
▪ Integrated Coastal Management Initiatives: Iterative Learning in the Present
▪ Organizational Capacity & Policy Development: Planning for the Future

Student Funding:
The Project supported two Doctoral Research Fellowships and four Masters Research Fellowships:
▪ Students attended either UNB, SMU or Dalhousie University and worked under the supervision of Dr. Melanie Wiber or Dr. Tony Charles.

Project Outcomes:

Articles in Refereed Journals
2004 M G Wiber, T Charles, F Berkes and J Kearney
Participatory Research Supporting Community-Based Fishery Management. Marine Policy 28(6): 459-468.
2004 M Wiber Finding
Common Ground in the Fisheries Field: Agency in the Ethnographic Encounter. Zeitschrift fur Ethnologie129: 49-70.
2007 J Kearney, F Berkes,
T Charles, M Wiber and E Pinkerton The Role of Participatory Governance and Community-Based Management in Integrated Coastal and Ocean Management in Canada. Coastal Management Journal 35(1):79-104.
2009 M Wiber, T Charles,
J Kearney and F Berkes Enhancing Community Empowerment through Participatory Fisheries Research. Marine Policy 33(1):172-179.
2009 L Wilson and M Wiber
Community Perspectives on Integrated Management: A case study from the Annapolis Basin area, Nova Scotia, Canada. Ocean and Coastal Management 52 (11):559-567.
2010 T Charles and the Coastal
CURA team Integrated Management: A
Coastal Community Perspective. Horizons 10(4):26-34.
2010 M Wiber, M Rudd,
E Pinkerton, A Bull, and T Charles Coastal management challenges from a community perspective: the problem of ‘stealth privatization’ in a Canadian fishery. Marine Policy 34:598-605.
2010 M Wiber and M Recchia Legal
pluralism and integrated
management in Saint John Harbour, Canada. MAST Vol.9:81-101.
2011 M Wiber, S Young & L Wilson
Aquaculture-Traditional Fishery Interactions in Southwest New Brunswick: Implications for Future Research. OCN-Canada Policy Briefs, Volume 1 (January – April 2011).
2012 M Wiber, L Wilson and
S Young Impact of Aquaculture on Commercial Fisheries: Fishermen’s Local Ecological Knowledge. Human Ecology 40(1):29-40.
2012 M Wiber, L Wilson and
S Young Response to Comments on Policy Brief by Wiber, Wilson and Young. OCN Canada Policy Briefs Volume 2 (February 2012):15-16.
2012 K Bigney, T Charles,
J Kearney, M Landry, M Wiber and L Wilson. Reflection as Key to Community-Based Integrated Management: Lessons from the Canadian Maritimes. Journal of Environmental Planning and Management 55(10): 1331-1347.

For more information on outcomes of the project see: