This study examines the drivers of civic engagement in water resource planning and management in diverse watersheds in the Minneapolis-St. Paul (Twin Cities) metropolitan area. Specifically, it investigates the direct and indirect influence of community attachment on perceived collective efficacy and environmental concern, and on civic engagement. Data were collected through a self-administered mail survey of 1000 residents from selected census tracts within three watersheds. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings suggest that residents’ attachment to their neighborhood through social ties and ties to the natural environment drives their engagement in water resource protection. Residents who are attached to their neighborhood through social ties are likely to be civically engaged in water resource protection. Further, residents’ perceived collective efficacy and their concern about stormwater are significant predictors of civic engagement in water. This study offers strategies for resource professionals and other local actors to best design programs aimed at increasing resident engagement in water resource conservation.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge and thank our Twin Cities metro area watershed organization partners, Ramsey Washington Metro Watershed District, Mississippi Watershed Management Organization, and Capitol Region Watershed District, for their collaboration and invaluable assistance with study design. The authors extend gratitude to Sarah Fellows, Bree Duever, Laura Dorle, Alexandria Felix, and Alyssa Prokott, current and former students at the University of Minnesota, for their assistance with data collection, management, and analysis. We would also like to thank Emily Green for her review of and input on the manuscript. We received critical input and feedback from the Project Advisory Team made up of dedicated community actors from each of the watersheds. We also owe a debt of gratitude to the survey respondents Funding for this project was provided by the Ramsey-Washington Metro Watershed District (RWMWD) , Capitol Region Watershed District (CRWD) , and Mississippi Watershed Management Organization (MWMO) . This work also was supported by grants from USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture (Hatch project 229912) and United States Geological Survey (Cooperative Agreement Number 2013MN352B).
- Human dimensions
- Pro-environmental behavior
- Public participation
- Watershed management
- Watershed planning