Soomai, S. S., MacDonald, B. H., & Wells, P. G. (2011). The 2009 State of Nova Scotia’s Coast Report: An Initial Study of its Use and Influence. Halifax: Dalhousie University.
In December 2009, the province of Nova Scotia released the first 2009 State of Nova Scotia’s Coast
Report, in three versions: technical report, a summary report, and six fact sheets. The Report was
designed to reach and inform all audiences in the province about coastal issues and to encourage
public participation in the development of coastal policy in Nova Scotia. In the period March to
December 2010, the Environmental Information: Use and Influence (EIUI) research initiative, based
in the School of Information Management, Dalhousie University, conducted a study in collaboration
with the government of Nova Scotia to determine the awareness, use, and influence of the Report.
The Government of Nova Scotia, through its Provincial Oceans Network (PON) organized public
consultations in the province during May to July 2010 in order to promote awareness and use of the
Report. Eight open houses were held in locations throughout the province, a multi-stakeholder
meeting was held in Halifax, and a telephone survey was conducted to obtain province-wide data. The
government also recorded traffic on its “Our Coast” Web site, which contains the digital versions of
the Report. To complement the activities of the government, the EIUI research team used several
research tools to determine the level of public awareness of the Report, including surveys conducted
at the public consultations and selected interviews with key informants, citation analysis, link
searches to the government‟s Web site, searches of library collections, analysis of Web site tracking
statistics, and a review of media coverage since the launch of the Report.