Environmental concepts and the management of the Fraser River : an examination of the preferences of individuals involved with the appeals over municipal sewage treatment standards at the Annacis Island plant

Sharlene Wendy White
The Fraser river is an essential, multi-purpose resource involving the interests of every community in the lower mainland of British Columbia. Inevitably there is a continuing public dialogue about the use of the river and consequently about the water quality standards, management strategies and the technologies which will sustain the desired uses. This public discussion was recently focused upon the regional sewage treatment facilities under construction at Annacis Island in the lower main arm
more » ... the lower main arm of the river. Planners need to refine their understanding of such public dialogue to help them in analysing environmental management policies, communicating with clients and educating communities about the best way to achieve their environmental goals. The study was exploratory and experimental. The primary aim was to identify and advance our understanding of the concepts and conceptualising processes which caused individuals, concerned about water quality standards in the lower Fraser river, to prefer different management strategies for the Annacis Island plant. The central hypothesis was that an individual's environmental management preferences could be more usefully explained and more accurately predicted in relation to his conceptualising preferences than in relation to aspects of his background experience such as occupation and education. The study was completed in four stages: 1. The repertory grid technique, developed by the psychologist George Kelly, as a means of investigating the ways in which an individual rationalises about his environment, was adapted to the Fraser river situation. Later it was applied as a major investigative technique within the questionnaire framework. 2. The literature about the Annacis Island case was reviewed and summarised to provide the empirical framework for the study. 3. A questionnaire was designed and administered, in person, to thirty individuals. Ten individuals were chosen to represent each of three public interest groups who had been vocal in the discussion about t [...]
doi:10.14288/1.0094138 fatcat:miuh56grtjafxccgzatd7s74ny