The Effect of Human Activity on the Ecology of Long Island Sound
But while some of these interactions can be described in strictly objective terms, such as the spatial-temporal flows of matter and energy studied in resource management, the term “place” denotes humans’ subjective experiences and meanings of the locations they inhabit. Because of this, approaches to the study of place may draw on very wide vocabularies and concepts of human subjectivity. For example, Steele (1981) noted several types of place experiences (immediate feelings and thoughts, views of the world, intimate knowledge of one spot, memories or fantasies, personal identification) and several major characteristics of place (identity, history, fantasy, mystery, joy, surprise, security, vitality, memory). The place may be influenced by human perception, cognition, affective propensities, self-concept, social dynamics, economies, cultures, and histories. Further, the place may be filtered through various human values systems, ranging from materialistic and utilitarian to spiritual. Finally, the study of the place has been pursued in several different disciplines or broader schools of thought. Thus, fault-lines of basic assumptions, methods, and purposes have characterized the unstable intellectual terrain of place”.It is at once very important to identify a place and its ecological environment and the quotient of the delicateness of such an environment before assessing the impact of human activities as Norberg-Schulz notes, with appropriate literature support, that place is “a totality made up of concrete things having material substance, shape, texture, and color. Together these things determine an ‘environmental character’ which is the essence of the place. In general, a place has such a character or ‘atmosphere’. A place is therefore a qualitative, ‘total’ phenomenon, which we cannot reduce to any of its properties, such as spatial relationships, without losing its concrete nature” (Norberg-Schulz 1979, 8).