Interdisciplinary science and environmental management involve bringing together data and expertise at multiple spatial scales. The most challenging part of merging scales is aligning the scale of inquiry with the research application. Through the Louisiana case study relating wetland loss and commercial fishing, we examine how the nature and strength of the relationship changes depending on the scale of investigation. Resulting management implications also vary because of tradeoffs in choosing the scale of inquiry. State-level fisheries managers may miss effects of wetland loss in fishing communities because they are looking at aggregate data. Scientific information must directly address the constituent scale, where managers can enact policy. The case study demonstrates why scalar considerations should be an explicit part of the planning process for both science and management.