This study examines the social-psychological determinants of climate-related civic engagement among residents of Lake Superior’s nature-based, tourism-dependent North Shore region in Minnesota. Specifically, it assesses the influence of two dimensions of community attachment (social and environmental) and environmental concern on civic engagement. Data were collected using a self-administered mail survey of 1000 residents in the two Lake Superior watersheds that constitute the majority of the North Shore region. Data were analyzed using structural equation modeling. Findings indicate that residents’ social attachment to their communities is a significant predictor of their climate-related civic engagement. Further, their environmental attachment—while not by itself a predictor--is significantly related to heightened concern about the impacts of climate change on the local environment, which is a significant predictor of residents’ civic engagement. These findings reinforce a two-dimensional understanding of community attachment and they are pertinent for natural resource professionals and community leaders tasked with engaging residents in climate-mitigating or –adaptive actions. They suggest that programmatic outcomes may be enhanced by accentuating the local social and economic consequences of climate change, and the impacts to local natural resources. This may be especially valuable in nature tourism-based economies where altered climatic conditions could more drastically impact the economic well-being of communities.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This research was funded by the Minnesota Sea Grant, the National Sea Grant College Program, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the U.S. Department of Commerce, under award NA14OAR4170080. The statements, findings, conclusions, and recommendations are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the NOAA, the Sea Grant College Program, or the U.S. Department of Commerce. Funding support was also provided by USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture Hatch project 229912.
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature B.V. part of Springer Nature.
- Civic engagement
- Climate change
- Community attachment
- Great Lakes Basin
- Lake Superior north shore