• Lush vegetation on the top of Spectacle Island's North drumlin dominates the foreground. Boston's skyline can be seen in the distance.  The park's logo with tag line minutes away, worlds apart empashises the stark contrast between the city and islands.

    Boston Harbor Islands

    National Recreation Area Massachusetts

Research to Support Management of Visitor Carrying Capacity of Boston Harbor Islands

Robert Manning
Yu-Fai Leung
Megha Budruk
Publishied in Northeastern Naturalist: Vol. 12, No. sp3, pp. 201–220

Visitor carrying capacity has been a long-standing issue in management of parks and protected areas. Contemporary carrying capacity frameworks rely on formulation of indicators and standards of quality to define and manage carrying capacity. This paper describes a program of research to support management of carrying capacity of the Boston Harbor Islands national park area, a recent addition to the national park system. Research included: (1) an inventory and analysis of recreation-related resource impacts on selected islands, and (2) surveys of visitors to islands open to public use. Study findings are being incorporated into a visitor carrying capacity management plan through formulation of indicators and standards of quality for the park's natural resources and visitor experience.

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