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Canada, the United States and Mexico are adjacent coastal nations where the impact of significantly increased human activity in the coastal zone by the year 2050 will be potentially catastrophic. Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) may well have a role to play within and between all three countries to help ameliorate this situation. This paper looks at the challenges facing sub-continental ICM, from institutional foundations to large-scale environmental management practices that cross political and cultural boundaries. To assist in this discussion, we have analyzed the overlapping sets of political-administrative units within terrestrial ecosystems, especially those with complex landscape attributes, to arrive at a series of issues that help identify areas of convergence and joint action as well as barriers to action. Finally, we look at landscape attributes on a regional scale to show that joint institutional initiatives that recognize existing ecological, socio-economic, and political-administrative differences between Canada, the United States and Mexico need to be built.



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