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.
Most of the 21 inlets along the 588 km of sandy shoreline on the Florida east coast have been modified, primarily to improve navigation efficiency and safety. These modifications have usually caused significant downdrift shoreline erosion. Shoreline change data for the Florida east coast during the period from about 1869 to 1971, which was before widespread beach nourishment, are analyzed. Modified inlets during this period impacted about 25% of the shoreline and conservatively caused about 70% of the shoreline area recession and about 75–85% if counties are excluded that did not have modified inlets that caused net downdrift recession. During this same period of about 100 years, the remaining 75% of the shoreline advanced on average 46 m seaward. However, before Florida began regulating coastal construction, development often encroached on accreting shorelines, effectively masking much of the accretion. From about 1971 to 2007, a period of widespread beach nourishment, only about half of the nourishment sand was placed on eroding shorelines. About half was placed on shorelines that accreted or were stable from about 1869 to 1971 but where encroachment by development made the nourishment necessary. Over half of the recession caused by modified inlets still exists. The criteria used by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection to designate the erosional state of Florida east coast beaches was found to be problematic, since it currently designates 65% of this shoreline as eroding when only 20% eroded during the period of widespread beach nourishment from about 1971 to 2007.
Source: J.R. Houston and R.G. Dean (2015); “Erosional Impacts of Modified Inlets, Beach Encroachment, and Beach Nourishment on the East Coast of Florida”, Journal of Coastal Research: Volume 32, Issue 2, Pages: 227 – 240; Received: 9 June 2015; Accepted: 15 July 2015; Revised: 19 August 2015; Published: 14 September 2015 under DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-15-00105.1
Depth structures aquatic habitats, creating substantial differences in the species composition of underwater communities even at small intervals. Those communities also undergo considerable cyclic variation annually. In this study, we surveyed variation in the vertical distribution of fish in a shallow (20 m) coastal basin in the northern Baltic Sea during the ice-free period from May to October. The waters were strongly mixed throughout the season and only transient signs of stratification were observed. As production shifted towards higher trophic levels over summer, with sequential biomass peaks in zooplankton and juvenile fish, the vertical distribution of the entire fish assemblage became increasingly even. The results suggest that spatial resource partitioning can be strongly correlated with seasonal productivity cycles even in physically uniform environments with high connectivity. Further, the results stress the importance of sampling design (seasonal and vertical coverage) of fish studies in shallow coastal areas.
Source: N. Mustamäki, H. Jokinen, M. Scheinin, E. Bonsdorff and J. Mattila (2016); “Seasonal shifts in the vertical distribution of fish in a shallow coastal area”, ICES Journal of Marine Science; Received: 24 September 2015; Accepted: 24 February 2016; First Published Online: 29 March 2016 under DOI: 10.1093/icesjms/fsw038
The management success of a marine protected area (MPA) is essentially a social construct because people have differing views on what defines success. Conflicting opinions between stakeholders need to be identified and resolved to ensure these factors do not interfere with successful functioning of MPAs. This study looked at developing and prioritizing performance indicators for Maria Island Marine Nature Reserve (MIMNR), Australia. Performance indicators were developed for MIMNR based on an expert-led, structured framework and then prioritized using the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP), with respect to input from key informants of stakeholder groups. Results showed that all stakeholder groups agreed that management of MIMNR should first focus on “abundance and size of native species,” and that managers, fishers, and environmental nongovernmental organizations place a significantly higher priority on ecological over socioeconomic and governance performance indicators. Researchers placed even emphasis across all priorities. Results suggest that MIMNR should first focus on monitoring “abundance and size of native species” and demonstrates the capacity of the AHP to increase management effectiveness and improve the decision-making process. Furthermore, by identifying where discrepancies in preferences exist, the outcomes of this research can be used to enhance collaboration among stakeholders.
Source: S. Pendred, A. Fischer and S. Fischer (2016); “Improved Management Effectiveness of a Marine Protected Area through Prioritizing Performance Indicators”, Coastal Management: Volume 44, Issue 2, Pages: 93-115; Published Online: 23 March 2016; First Published under DOI: 10.1080/08920753.2016.1135272
The purpose of this paper is to document actions taken by the public in the Pacific Northwest (PNW) to improve the sustainability of their water resources since 2002. A survey instrument was used to collect these data in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Mail-based surveys containing between 45 and 60 questions were sent to over 2,200 randomly chosen adults in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington in 2002, 2007 and 2012. Return rates in excess of 50% were received for each survey ensuring that the results were statistically valid. The 2002 survey results were used as base line data. Over 87% of the respondents undertook at least one voluntary action to protect the quantity of water resources based on the 2012 survey. Voluntary actions including installation of water saving appliances, changing water use in the yard, changing household water use and changing the way a vehicle was washed were taken by 70.2%, 49.2%, 64.3% and 32.1% of the survey respondents, respectively. Voluntary actions taken to protect water quality also improved in 2012 compared with the results of the 2002 and 2007 surveys. The percentage of respondents that improved home waste disposal practices improved their use of pesticides and/or fertilizers in their yards, and safely disposed of used motor oil in 2012 was 60.2%, 46.4% and 65.3%, respectively. Less than 14% and 19% of adults have not voluntarily addressed water quantity and water quality issues in their homes, respectively. Any activity that protects the integrity of water resources improves sustainability. The surveys conducted over a 10-year period show increasing citizen participation in efforts to protect water resources. Consequently, it appears that public education targeted at adults does work. Continued public education efforts targeted at adults over the next decade should continue to further increase public participation and the number of best management practices each citizen employs to protect their water resources. Compared with a traditional regulatory approach, the cost of public education to encourage the conservation and protection of water resources is a bargain. Consequently, the USA’s land grant universities and other governmental and non-government organizations that invest in adult education should continue to do so. From a taxpayer standpoint, this investment in water education is an efficient and wise use of money.
Keywords: Positive life-style change; Public actions; Public opinion; Voluntary actions; Water quality; Water quantity; Water sustainability.
Source: R. L. Mahler and M. E. Barber (2015); “Using Adult Education to Improve the Sustainability of Water Resources in the Pacific Northwest, USA”; International Journal of Sustainable Development and Planning: Volume 10 (2015), Issue 6, Pages: 828 – 842; First Published under DOI: 10.2495/SDP-V10-N6-828-842