Welcome to PAP/RAC Mediterranean Coastal Alert! This newsletter is regularly updated monthly. It contains abstracts of selected current articles and archives on various environmental themes, in particular those dealing with all aspects of coastal issues. The selection is made from the articles published in the leading international scientific journals. This newsletter is an excellent way of keeping you updated with coastal studies and processes.
Sustainability economics: Where do we stand?
Working with natural processes: the challenge for coastal protection strategies
The Role of Universities in Supporting Integrated Coastal Management in the United Kingdom
Beach disturbance caused by off-road vehicles (ORVs) on sandy shores: Relationship with traffic volumes and a new method to quantify impacts using image-based data acquisition and analysis
Environmental economics, which is a branch of resource economics - the environment as a scarce resource - is essentially about market failures, the costs of pollution and pollution abatement, and the economics of regulation. Sustainability economics includes the problem of maintaining economic growth, while reducing pollution and/or its impacts, with special attention to the linked problems of energy supply (not to mention the supply other exhaustible resources), climate change and - most urgently - fossil fuel consumption. There is a need for integration of resource and environmental economics under a new rubric, sustainability economics.
The concept of 'working with natural processes' has wide currency in coastal zone management. It is one of eight principles for integrated coastal zone management listed in a recent EU Recommendation. From a geomorphological perspective, the concept, however, has a range of imparted meanings that range from (1) direct human intervention in coastal processes using 'hard engineering' structures that causes alteration of wave patterns, through (2) a variety of 'soft engineering' approaches to (3) non-intervention and proactively taking steps to enable the coastline to fluctuate freely in response to natural processes. These different views take variable temporal perspectives and only the long-term approach is likely to be sustainable and in sympathy with the meaning implied in the EU Recommendation. A number of case studies from Ireland are presented through which we show that several factors (administrative, legislative, societal and political) impede adoption of the principle in practical coastal management. Major changes in perception of 'coastal protection' coupled with changes in attitudes to property will be required if this principle is to become an integral part of coastal protection strategies.
Keywords: England and Wales; Ireland; Coastal protection; Coastal zone management; Coastal processes; EU principles of ICZM; Coastal erosion
Source: Cooper, J. A. G. and Mckenna, J. (2008), "Working with natural processes: the challenge for coastal protection strategies", Geographical Journal, Vol. 174, No. 4, P. 315-331.
Historically, the role of universities in supporting ICM in the United Kingdom has been perceived as limited to the provision of courses for new entrants to the discipline and of limited continuing professional development opportunities. This research presents a broader review of the role of universities in ICM in the United Kingdom, and includes contributions to management practice, continuing professional development, research, and course provision. Through a multi-stage methodology it has been found that the contribution of universities to ICM in the United Kingdom is under pressure. This was found to be partially attributable to changes within the university sector and partly to the prevailing infrastructure of ICM in the United Kingdom. It is concluded that without greater partnership working between universities, practitioners, and government, the role of universities in ICM may deteriorate over the short to medium term.
Keywords: Higher education; Integrated coastal management; United Kingdom; Universities
Source: Fletcher, S. (2008), "The Role of Universities in Supporting Integrated Coastal Management in the United Kingdom", Coastal Management, Vol. 36, No. 1, P. 67-80.
Vehicles cause environmental damage on sandy beaches, including physical displacement and compaction of the sediment. Such physical habitat disturbance provides a relatively simple indicator of ORV-related impacts that is potentially useful in monitoring the efficacy of beach traffic management interventions; such interventions also require data on the relationship between traffic volumes and the resulting levels of impact. Here we determined how the extent of beach disturbance is linked to traffic volumes and tested the utility of image-based data acquisition to monitor beach surfaces. Experimental traffic application resulted in disturbance effects ranging from 15% of the intertidal zone being rutted after 10 vehicle passes to 85% after 100 passes. A new camera platform, specifically designed for beach surveys, was field tested and the resulting image-based data compared with traditional line-intercept methods and in situ measurements using quadrats. All techniques gave similar results in terms of quantifying the relationship between traffic intensity and beach disturbance. However, the physical, in situ measurements, using quadrats, generally produced higher (+4.68%) estimates than photos taken with the camera platform coupled with off-site image analysis. Image-based methods can be more costly, but in politically and socially sensitive monitoring applications, such as ORV use on sandy beaches, they are superior in providing unbiased and permanent records of environmental conditions in relation to anthropogenic pressures.
Source: Schlacher, T. A. and Morrison, J. M. (2008), "Beach disturbance caused by off-road vehicles (ORVs) on sandy shores: Relationship with traffic volumes and a new method to quantify impacts using image-based data acquisition and analysis", Marine Pollution Bulletin, Vol. 56, No. 9, P. 1646-1649.