Coastal ecosystems: a critical element of risk reduction

Spalding, Mark D., McIvor, Anna L., Beck, Michael W., Koch, Evamaria W., Möller, Iris, Reed, Denise J., Rubinoff, Pamela, Spencer, Thomas, Tolhurst, Trevor J., Wamsley, Ty V., van Wesenbeeck, Bregje K., Wolanski, Eric, and Woodroffe, Colin D. (2014) Coastal ecosystems: a critical element of risk reduction. Conservation Letters, 7 (3). pp. 293-301.

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Abstract

The conservation of coastal ecosystems can provide considerable coastal protection benefits, but this role has not been sufficiently accounted for in coastal planning and engineering. Substantial evidence now exists showing how, and under what conditions, ecosystems can play a valuable function in wave and storm surge attenuation, erosion reduction, and in the longer term maintenance of the coastal profile. Both through their capacity for self repair and recovery, and through the often considerable cobenefits they provide, ecosystems can offer notable advantages over traditional engineering approaches in some settings. They can also be combined in "hybrid" engineering designs. We make 10 recommendations to encourage the utilization of existing knowledge and to improve the incorporation of ecosystems into policy, planning and funding for coastal hazard risk reduction.

Item ID: 32166
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1755-263X
Keywords: coastal hazards; hybrid engineering; mangrove; reef; risk reduction; salt marsh; seagrass; sea-level rise; storm surge; wave attenuation
Additional Information:

This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.

Funders: Forrest and Frances Lattner Foundation, The Morgridge Ecosystem Services Fund, Wetlands International
Date Deposited: 25 Jun 2014 06:34
FoR Codes: 05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0501 Ecological Applications > 050102 Ecosystem Function @ 50%
05 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 0502 Environmental Science and Management > 050209 Natural Resource Management @ 50%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960507 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Marine Environments @ 100%
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