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.

In this issue Issue No. 8, 2010-08-05

The vulnerability of beach tourism to climate change - an index approach
(Abstract...)

Diversifying fisheries into tourism in Taiwan: Experiences and prospects
(Abstract...)

Relative importance of vessel-generated and wind waves to salt marsh erosion in a restricted fetch environment
(Abstract...)

Global climate change: an opportunity for coastal dunes??
(Abstract...)

Abstract

The vulnerability of beach tourism to climate change - an index approach

The attractiveness of a region for touristic activities depends strongly on the local weather and climate. This paper analyses the vulnerability of the beach tourism sector towards climate change by means of an index approach on a country level. A vulnerability framework for the tourism sector is developed and on its basis, indicators are defined for exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity. A transparent index approach, including a robustness analysis with multiple transformation methods and weighting sets, yields an assessment of the overall relative vulnerability of the beach tourism sector in 51 countries. Aggregate results on an annual level are presented as a starting point for a more detailed comparison of countries based on the individual indicators. The important limitations regarding the availability of accurate indicators as well as the concept of vulnerability itself are discussed. Despite these limitations, the present study contributes to integrating the numerous direct as well as indirect effects climate change may have on beach tourism.

Keywords: Vulnerability of beach tourism; Climate change; Index approach.

Source: Perch-Nielsen, S.L. (2009), “The vulnerability of beach tourism to climate change – an index approach”, Climatic Change: Volume 100, Numbers 3-4 / June 2010, Pages 579-606;Received: 12 December 2007; Accepted: 28 July 2009; Published Online: 24 September 2009, under DOI: 10.1007/s10584-009-9692-1.

Contact: s.perch-nielsen@alumni.ethz.ch

Link: SpringerLink

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Diversifying fisheries into tourism in Taiwan: Experiences and prospects

Tourism is accepted as natural part of the socioeconomic fabric and is juxtaposed with fisheries in some coastal areas in Taiwan. This is the result of governmental policy on diversifying fisheries into tourism. This paper examines how this policy plays out in the context of a declining offshore fisheries industry and a rising demand for marine leisure opportunities. The paper utilizes documentary analysis and personal interviews with relevant stakeholders. It shows diversifying fisheries into tourism is the right direction for progress on the government agenda. However, conflicts between resource users, lack of community capacity, fisher's business skills, and human resources in local governments, and low market penetration combined together to militate against the success of the policy. It argues for the need to establish negotiation mechanisms, build community capacity, encourage education and training programs, and introduce new coastal economic activities for future improvement. The paper finally suggests a holistic approach with integrated coastal management practices for the fisheries diversification development.

Keywords: Fisheries diversification; Coastal and marine tourism; Taiwan.

Source: Chen, C.-L., (2010), “Diversifying fisheries into tourism in Taiwan: Experiences and prospects”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Accepted Manuscript; Received: 30 November 2009; Revised: 25 May 2010; Accepted: 25 June 2010; Available Online: 5 July 2010, under DOI:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.06.003.

Contact: clchen@mail.nkmu.edu.tw

Link: ScienceDirect

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Relative importance of vessel-generated and wind waves to salt marsh erosion in a restricted fetch environment

Erosion of a salt marsh at Fort Pulaski National Monument threatens a pier of historical significance along the North Channel of the Savannah River, the main shipping channel for the Port of Savannah, Georgia. The erosion was initiated by the alongshore and onshore migration of a supratidal oyster shell ridge that exposed a marsh scarp that is susceptible to lateral retreat in response to both wind-generated and vessel-generated waves undercutting the upper-marsh surface. An instrumented field study was completed between October 2007 and February 2008 to examine the relative importance of wind-generated and vessel-generated waves to the retreat of the scarp by 0.21 m along the instrumented transect. On average, there were 14 sailings by container ships per day and up to twice as many sailings by pilot boats ferrying the harbour pilots to container ships offshore, but only those vessels that sailed within 1 m of the high-tide water level had waves capable of reaching the scarp. The vessel-generated waves accounted for ~5% of the cumulative wave energy over the study, but because of their larger height and longer period, they accounted for almost 25% of the cumulative wave force. It is the locally generated wind waves that account for most of the wave force acting on the exposed scarp and which are largely responsible for the observed retreat. Waves generated during both frontal and tropical storms tend to be associated with storm tides that maintain water levels at or near the elevation of the scarp for several days. Now that the shell ridge has largely migrated past the site and the areas of greater retreat historically are protected by a wedge of sand, it is argued that an increase in vessel traffic and/or the use of larger, post-Panamax ships will not significantly accelerate the retreat of the marsh.

Keywords: Vessel-generated waves; wind-generated waves; Salt marsh erosion; Georgia.

Source: Houser, C. (2010); “Relative Importance of vessel-generated and wind waves to salt marsh erosion in a restricted fetch environment”, Journal of Coastal Research: Vol. 26, No. 2, Pages 230-240; Received: 28 May, 2008; Accepted: 13 August, 2008; Published Online: March 2010, under DOI: 10.2112/08-1084.1.

Contact: chouser@geog.tamu.edu

Link: BioOne

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Global climate change: an opportunity for coastal dunes??

The predictions for coastal change under the scenario of global sea-level rise offer impending disaster for the variety of coastal morphologies, their associated habitats, and the accompanying infrastructure. However, the predictions tend to ignore the role of sediment budget in the maintenance of coastal morphology and the dynamics of sediment transfers in the beach-dune sand-sharing system. Accepting that shoreline displacement may be an outcome of sea-level rise and a negative sediment budget, conditions are presented that could lead to a positive or equilibrium sediment budget in the coastal foredune and the retention of the foredune system even as it is being displaced. Accommodation space is a key requirement for the continued functioning of the foredune morphologies during periods of sea-level rise.

Keywords: Foredune; Sea-level rise; Coastal dunes; Coastal geomorphology.

Source: Psuty, N.P. and Silveira, M.T (2010), “Global climate change: An opportunity for coastal dunes??”, Journal of Coastal Conservation, Vol. 14, No. 2, Pages 153-160, June, 2010; Received: 11 July 2009; Revised: 26 January 2010; Accepted: 26 January 2010; Published Online: 23 February 2010, under DOI: 10.1007/s11852-010-0089-0.

Contact: psuty@marine.rutgers.edu

Link: SpringerLink

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