Guide Coastal erosion. Response and management

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PDF | At present, accelerated coastal erosion due to anthropogenic pressure is prevalent. represent responses to intended strategy, so managers must be.
Table of contents

Along the northwest coast of Africa average rates of coastal retreat are between one and two meters per year. However, more serious rates of up to hundreds of metres per year have been observed locally, especially when the process has been created by human activities. It also threatens populations, who can no longer live close to the coastline, and the worry is it is expected to increase due to climate change and sea level rise. This will bring other problems such as salinisation of water and soils, degradation of ecosystems and flooding. Moreover, recent studies indicate that sea level observations are already higher than the maximum limit of IPCC projections.

This means that we can expect more than the one-meter sea level rise projected for , a fact that the rapid melting of the Greenland ice sheet, as well as strong indications that the western part of the Antarctic ice sheet is also melting, strongly support. Whatever the dispute about the rates and amounts of sea level rise, it is evident that coastal populations and ecosystems will need to adapt to these changes. For human beings only three options are available to combat coastal erosion: retreat, accommodate or protect.

A very limited number of studies — conducted mainly during preparation of the Initial National Communications from Parties not included in Annex I of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change UNFCCC — indicate that the costs of adaptation are likely to be lower than the impacts costs of doing nothing. However, the cost of adaptation is already considered to represent between 5 and 10 per cent of the GDP of affected countries, which is a significant sum, especially for the economies of the least developed countries.

Europe Climate change Coastal floods.


Coastal erosion results in three different types of impacts or risks : Loss of land with economical value Destruction of natural sea defences usually a dune system as a result of storm events, which may result in flooding of the hinterland. Undermining of artificial sea defences as a result of chronic sediment shortage Human factors Coastal erosion is influenced by several human factors, including 1 : Coastal engineering. The waterfronts of urban, tourism or industrial zones have usually been engineered by way of seawalls, dykes, breakwaters, jetties, or any hard and rock-armoured structures, which aims at protecting the construction or other assets landwards the coastline from the assault of the sea.

Such structures modify wave and flow patterns in the near shore zone and therefore cause a redistribution of sediment.

The net sediment volume in the coastal zone may not be strongly affected, but the sediment redistribution can induce erosion in some places and accretion in others. Land claim.

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Within tidal basins or bays where land reclamation projects are most easily undertaken , land reclamation results in a reduction of the tidal volume and therefore a change in the ebb and flood currents transporting sediments. As a result, relatively stable coastal stretches may begin to erode. River basin regulation works. Damming has effectively sealed water catchments locking up millions of cubic metres of sediments per year. For some southern European rivers e.

This results in a considerable sediment deficit at the river mouth, and subsequent erosion downstream as illustrated in Ebro delta, Playa Gross, Petite Camargue Rhone delta and Vagueira.

Dredging may affect coastal processes by removing from the foreshore materials stones, pebbles which protect the coast against erosion, and by contributing to the sediment deficit in the coastal sediment cell. Vegetation clearing. A significant number of cases have highlighted the positive role of vegetation to increase the resistance to erosion.

Gas mining or water extraction. Gas mining or water extraction may induce land subsidence, causing sediment deficit and a retreat of the coastline. Direct anthropogenic effects on effective sea-level rise ESLR From an assessment of contemporary effective sea-level rise ESLR for a sample of 40 deltas distributed worldwide it was concluded that direct anthropogenic effects determine ESLR in the majority of deltas studied, with a relatively less important role for eustatic sea-level rise.

Vulnerabilities - Global wetlands Observations The global extent of and change in tidal flats has been mapped over the course of 33 years Projections Previous large-scale assessments on the response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise may be too dramatic. Tipping point of delta survival globally 11, year ago global warming induced a rapid rise in sea level.

Adaptation strategies - Four key recommendations Four key recommendations have been proposed to make coastal erosion problems and risks in Europe manageable 1 : Increase coastal resilience by restoring the sediment balance and providing space for coastal processes. A more strategic and proactive approach to coastal erosion is needed for the sustainable development of vulnerable coastal zones and the conservation of coastal biodiversity. Internalise coastal erosion cost and risk in planning and investment decisions.

Key points and observations emphasized in the discussions

Public responsibility for coastal erosion risk should be limited and an appropriate part of the risk should be transferred to direct beneficiaries and investors. Risks should be monitored and mapped, evaluated and incorporated into planning and investment policies. Current practices observed in Europe reveal that the tax payer — through expenditures executed by public authorities - supports the major part of the costs associated with coastal erosion risk.

Almost no cases are found were the parties responsible for coastal erosion or the owners of assets at risk paid the bill. Make responses to coastal erosion accountable. Coastal erosion management should move away from piecemeal solutions to a planned approach based upon accountability principles, by optimising investment costs against values at risk, increasing social acceptability of actions and keeping options open for the future.

Strengthen the knowledge base of coastal erosion management and planning. The green belt model below with coastal embankments in Bangladesh combines different type of trees, including fruit trees, which benefit local communities Clark, Auckland r egional council, Technical Publication No. Coastal Erosion Management Manual.

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Blasco, F. Natural hazards and mangroves in the Bay of Bengal. Bray, J. Littoral cell definition and budgets for central southern England. Journal of Coastal Research , 11 2 : — Bruun, P. The history and philosophy of coastal protection.

New York. Cat, N. Status of coastal erosion of Viet Nam and proposed measures for protection.

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    Global long-term observations of coastal erosion and accretion

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