How developed is the South African coast? Baseline extent of South Africa’s coastal and estuarine infrastructure

Claassens, L., de Villiers, N.M., and Waltham, N.J. (2022) How developed is the South African coast? Baseline extent of South Africa’s coastal and estuarine infrastructure. Ocean and Coastal Management, 222. 106112.

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Coastal ecosystems are increasingly being transformed from natural to artificial owing to increasing population growth, development pressures and impacts from climate change. With the threat from sea-level rise the increase in armouring of coastlines and other coastal defence structures is a particular concern. This study used Google Earth to define and map the extent of artificial structures along the coastline and within estuaries of South Africa. Infrastructure along the coastline was mostly concentrated around major cities with 85.71 km of armouring mapped along the entire coast and 51.74 km mapped within estuaries. Jetties were the dominant infrastructure type found within estuaries and armouring was the most dominant type along the coastline. Although large sections of the coast were found to be underdeveloped, hotspots around cities show that much of these areas are affected by infrastructure. In these areas in particular, haphazard and ad hoc development can have cumulative environmental impacts. As no extensive record of structures along the coastline of South Africa has been compiled, this study provides the first baseline inventory of the extent of infrastructure within the coastal environment of South Africa. This baseline can therefore be used to record and measure changes in infrastructure development of the coastal environment and guide future coastal development practises.

Item ID: 73189
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1873-524X
Keywords: Estuaries, Coastline, Urbanisation, Artificial structures
Copyright Information: © 2022 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Date Deposited: 28 Mar 2022 04:43
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410401 Conservation and biodiversity @ 30%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 30%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 40%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1802 Coastal and estuarine systems and management > 180203 Coastal or estuarine biodiversity @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180507 Rehabilitation or conservation of marine environments @ 50%
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