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. 52, 2013-02-01

Utilizing Science in Advancing Marine Ecosystem-Based Management
(Abstract...)

Impacts of driving on the beach: Case studies from Assateague Island and Padre Island National Seashores
(Abstract...)

Climate change adaptation in coastal Australia: An audit of planning practice
(Abstract...)

Community, co-operation and conflict: Negotiating the social well-being benefits of urban greenspace experiences
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Utilizing Science in Advancing Marine Ecosystem-Based Management

This paper draws upon the findings and key lessons from the ten papers that are featured in this Special Issue in utilizing science to advance ecosystem-based management (EBM) in the context of the East Asian region. The paper highlights the East Asian region’s long experience in Integrated Coastal Management (ICM) implementation, which has provided the foundation for advancing geographic and functional scaling up to cover wider geographic and administrative boundaries and ecosystems, respectively. The experiences in China and Japan, although vary in terms of mode of implementation, demonstrated common elements that characterize EBM practice – that is, recognizing the interconnectedness of marine, coastal and terrestrial systems, including human communities; protecting ecosystem structure, function and processes from the perspective of ecosystem services; addressing cumulative impacts and managing for multiple objectives; addressing multiple spatial and temporal scales in the design and implementation; promoting integrated and multi-sectoral planning; advocating for policy and functional integration and co-ordination and transforming policy into on-the-ground actions. The paper also highlights the application of innovative approaches and science-based tools to understand and monitor ecosystem functioning and changes; the use of scientific information to identify appropriate management policy and interventions at varying scales and offers some key actions for consideration to support a more comprehensive EBM implementation.

Keywords: Science; Marine Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM); Integrated Coastal Management (ICM).

Source: N. A. Bermas-Atrigenio and C. Thia-Eng (2013); “Utilizing Science in Advancing Marine Ecosystem-Based Management“, In Press, Accepted Manuscript, to appear in Ocean & Coastal Management; Available Online: 20 December 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.12.003.

Contact: nbermas@pemsea.org

Link: ScienceDirect

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Impacts of driving on the beach: Case studies from Assateague Island and Padre Island National Seashores

There is mounting evidence that driving on the beach has a significant biophysical impact, and it has been suggested in a number of recent studies that driving on the beachface leads to a net loss of sediment from the beach-dune system. Identifying a conclusive link between beach driving and beach erosion is, however, complicated by the natural variability of the environment in both space and time, and it has proven difficult to distinguish the driving signal from this background noise. In this respect, the impacts of beach driving are not clear, making it difficult to develop appropriate management strategies to reduce the impact in either degree or extent. LiDAR data from both Padre Island National Seashore and Assateague Island National Seashore are used in the present study to determine if the differences in beach and dune morphology between restricted and open access sections of the beach are associated with beach driving. Results from Padre Island National Seashore suggest that beach driving does not affect the height and volume of the foredunes, but is responsible for a statistically significant decrease in the elevation of the dune crest and base compared to the control section of beach. The decrease in elevation is ascribed to the compaction and pulverization of seaweed wrack that accumulates along the Texas coast in the spring and summer months, and is responsible for the anchoring of sediment for the growth of new vegetation seaward of the foredune. At Assateague Island National Seashore, driving on the beach is shown to cause a statistically significant change in the beach-dune morphology, with smaller dunes set further back from the shoreline within the open access sections of the beach. Despite the changes in dune morphology at both sites, there is no statistically significant difference in beach-dune volume on either side of the beach access road, which suggests that driving on the beach does not lead to a net loss of sediment from the beach-dune system. Driving on the beach does, however, make the foredune at both sites susceptible to scarping and overwash during tropical storms and hurricanes.

Keywords: Driving; Beach; Impact; Padre Island and Assateague Island National Seashores.

Source: C. Houser, B. Labude, L. Haider and B. Weymer (2013); “Impacts of driving on the beach: Case studies from Assateague Island and Padre Island National Seashores“, Ocean & Coastal Management, Volume 71, January 2013, Pages 33 – 45; Available Online: 16 October 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.09.012.

Contact: chouser@tamu.edu

Link: ScienceDirect

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Climate change adaptation in coastal Australia: An audit of planning practice

This study examines the state of local practice in planning for climate change adaptation in coastal Australia, in the context of rapidly evolving policy frameworks, using grounded theory to examine the process communities follow as they undertake adaptation planning. Australia's coastal cities and towns, with over 85 per cent of the nation's population, are at the frontline of physical risks associated with sea level rise and changed weather patterns; exacerbated by ongoing concentration of public and private assets in potentially vulnerable locations. This is particularly so for coastal councils beyond the major capital cities, where settlement patterns and lifestyle oriented economies based on tourism and leisure focus on the coastal strip, and local government resources are highly constrained. To assess progress in climate change adaptation planning, this study involved local government professionals, experts and elected officials through a survey and focus groups (n = 49) held between February and July 2011. The audit indicates some areas are well underway towards holistic adaptation strategies but, others have neither engaged, nor anticipate, adaptation planning activities; of the strategies that have commenced, few are yet completed; and, despite ongoing development pressure, few councils have yet changed their planning controls for climate risk. Of those areas that have commenced adaptation planning, most strategies and commitments will require additional resourcing and external expertise to implement; while others face community scepticism and “pushback” which may undermine future progress. The results reveal a ladder of adaptation action, whereby communities tend to have to accomplish early steps before they move on to more complex, expensive, or political policies. We connect this ladder to community perceptions of what is supported in state and national frameworks and legislation. Communities in the future may be able to use this ladder to suggest where to start their processes, and directions to undertake as they accomplish their first tasks.

Keywords: Climate change adaptation; Local practice; Coastal Australia.

Source: N. Gurran, B. Norman and E. Hamin (2013); “Climate change adaptation in coastal Australia: An audit of planning practice”, In Press, Corrected Proof, to appear in Ocean & Coastal Management; Available Online: 12 November 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2012.10.014.

Contact: nicole.gurran@sydney.edu.au

Link: ScienceDirect

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Community, co-operation and conflict: Negotiating the social well-being benefits of urban greenspace experiences

The positive benefits of urban greenspaces for human health and well-being are widely recognised. While much intellectual effort has gone into identifying and cataloguing the environmental characteristics of places, spaces and landscapes associated with particular health outcomes, less well understood are the social dimensions through which everyday engagements with such greenspaces are framed and put into practice, and interactions between these dimensions. This article reports on preliminary findings from ethnographic research in two areas of Dundee, UK. We used mobile and participatory visual methods with greenspace users in order to investigate their everyday experiences and engagements with local greenspaces, and to understand how meanings associated with use translate (or not) into well-being benefits. The research found that experiences of greenspace – and thus any well-being benefits produced through engagement – are inescapably social and mediated through people's positioning in relation to particular social groups. Moreover, there is not one social context or social order, but many, and hence meanings are contested. This prompts for more attention to be paid to how well-being from greenspace can be delivered in ways meaningful to different people and groups. We conclude that social relations and social health (as well as individual mental and physical health) need to be more thoroughly explored in relation to greenspace and its management practices.

Keywords: Greenspace; Urban; Well-being; Social; Experience.

Source: E. Dinnie, K. M. Brown and S. Morris (2013); “Community, co-operation and conflict: Negotiating the social well-being benefits of urban greenspace experiences”, Landscape and Urban Planning, Volume 112, April 2013, Pages 1 – 9; Received: 12 March 2012; Received in Revised Form: 13 December 2012; Accepted: 21 December 2012, under DOI: 10.1016/j.landurbplan.2012.12.012.

Contact: Liz.dinnie@hutton.ac.uk

Link: ScienceDirect

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