Aquatic Stewardship Education in Theory and Practice

Advancing the Theory and Practice of Aquatic Stewardship Education

Barbara A. Knuth and William F. Siemer


Abstract.—The declining quality and quantity of desired aquatic resources requires attention. Those who benefit from aquatic resources should be engaged and empowered to promote and practice aquatic stewardship to help reverse these trends. Recreational anglers, boaters, and other citizens with a stake in the future of aquatic resources may be reached through aquatic stewardship education efforts undertaken by government, industry, and nongovernment organizations. In an effort to stimulate a discussion on the current state of the theory and practice of aquatic stewardship education and generate ideas for future advances, the American Fisheries Society, the Sport Fishing and Boating Partnership Council, and the Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation invited leading aquatic stewardship education practitioners and researchers to share their insights and experiences. This book is a result of that effort, based on a symposium on the topic held at the 135th annual meeting of the American Fisheries Society in Anchorage, Alaska. Building on the information provided by practitioners and researchers in the previous chapters and during a panel discussion following the symposium presentations, a set of recommendations emerges regarding next steps for advancing aquatic stewardship education theory and practice. These recommendations include strategies for improving shared understanding of what aquatic stewardship means and what education should include, strategies for encouraging best practices in stewardship education programs, strategies for fostering evaluation, and strategies for strengthening partnerships to increase the impact that any one organization will be able to have.