221,920 research outputs found

    Reforming state-level coastal management and development policies: strategic retreat as an innovative, proactive and equitable coastal environmental management strategy

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    Atlantic and Gulf Coast shorelines include some of the most unique and biologically rich ecosystems in the United States that provide immeasurable aesthetic, habitat and economic benefits. Natural coastal ecosystems, however, are under increasing threat from rampant and irresponsible growth and development. Once a boon to local economies, complex natural forces – enhanced by global climate change and sea level rise - are now considered hazards and eroding the very foundation upon which coastal development is based. For nearly a century, beach restoration and erosion control structures have been used to artificially stabilize shorelines in an effort to protect structures and infrastructure. Beach restoration, the import and emplacement of sand on an eroding beach, is expensive, unpredictable, inefficient and may result in long-term environmental impacts. The detrimental environmental impacts of erosion control structures such as sea walls, groins, bulkheads and revetments include sediment deficits, accelerated erosion and beach loss. These and other traditional responses to coastal erosion and storm impacts- along with archaic federal and state policies, subsidies and development incentives - are costly, encourage risky development, artificially increase property values of high-risk or environmentally sensitive properties, reduce the post-storm resilience of shorelines, damage coastal ecosystems and are becoming increasingly unsustainable. Although communities, coastal managers and property owners face increasingly complex and difficult challenges, there is an emerging public, social and political awareness that, without meaningful policy reforms, coastal ecosystems and economies are in jeopardy. Strategic retreat is a sustainable, interdisciplinary management strategy that supports the proactive, planned removal of vulnerable coastal development; reduces risk; increases shoreline resiliency and ensures long term protection of coastal systems. Public policies and management strategies that can overcome common economic misperceptions and promote the removal of vulnerable development will provide state and local policy makers and coastal managers with an effective management tool that concomitantly addresses the economic, environmental, legal and political issues along developed shorelines. (PDF contains 4 pages

    Enhancing Coastal Resilience: Perspectives on Valuing RI Coastal Lands

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    This paper discusses coastal resilience as an organizing framework for future policymaking, coastal planning, and insurance decisions, and explores the different perspectives of the value of ecosystems held by various stakeholders in Rhode Island’s coastal communities. A grounded theory approach was used in an effort to abstract general insights from the substantive but isolated areas of coastal management and economics. Special attention is given to the perspectives of municipal decision makers, the National Flood Insurance Program, natural economists, and real estate developers. We have (1) conducted a statistical analysis of environmental spending of RI towns, (2) identified key models for ecosystem services valuation, (3) researched the major threats to coastal ecosystems, and (4) explored how the coastal resilience theme might shape the future of the coast. Elements of the study rely on the formulation and testing of hypotheses. However, the analysis was primarily a demonstration of the inter-disciplinary emergent thinking that this paper proposes will provide solutions for coastal communities’ most pressing issues. The framing question is how social, personal, and environmental goals align when coastal resilience is enhanced, and how stakeholders can utilize these new decision-making tools to achieve increased communication and a more accurate understanding of the perceived value of ecosystem services

    Recreational, Cultural and Aesthetic Services from Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems

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    The role of economic analysis in guiding the sustainable development of estuarine and coastal ecosystems is investigated based on a comprehensive review of the literature on the valuation of the recreation, cultural and aesthetic services. The implications of the findings for the sustainable management of coral reefs, Marine Protected Areas, and Small Island Developing States are discussed. Finally, the potential of meta-analytical benefit transfer and scaling up of values at various aggregation levels is demonstrated in the context of coastal tourism and recreation in Europe. The results of the study support the conclusion that the non-material values provided by coastal and estuarine ecosystems in terms of recreational, cultural and aesthetic services represent a substantial component of human well-being.Aesthetic Values, Coastal Recreation, Coral Reefs, Cultural Values, Ecosystem Services Valuation, Ecosystem Services, Estuarine Ecosystems, Marine Protected Areas, Non-market Valuation, Non-use Values, Passive Values, Recreational Fishing, Small Island Developing States, Spiritual and Religious Values.

    Establishing National Ocean Service Priorities for Estuarine, Coastal, and Ocean Modeling: Capabilities, Gaps, and Preliminary Prioritization Factors

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    This report was developed to help establish National Ocean Service priorities and chart new directions for research and development of models for estuarine, coastal and ocean ecosystems based on user-driven requirements and supportive of sound coastal management, stewardship, and an ecosystem approach to management. (PDF contains 63 pages

    Roger Williams University Researchers to Partner in Statewide Coastal Ecology Research Consortium

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    NSF awards $19 million grant to establish statewide effort to understand and predict the impact of climate variability on coastal ecosystems

    Characterization and evolution of the sediments of a Mediterranean coastal lagoon located next to a former mining area

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    Coastal lagoons are ecosystems that are relatively enclosed water bodies under the influence of both the terrestrial and themarine environment, being vulnerable to human impacts. Human activities, such asmining extraction, are significant anthropogenic coastal stressors that can negatively affect ecosystems and communities. In light of the above, the objective of this research is to examine the influence ofmetal mining activities on the composition of sediments of a Mediterranean coastal lagoon, named Mar Menor. This paper presents a comprehensive characterization for grain size, mineralogy, geochemistry and organic matter of sediments of this coastal lagoon, investigating their variation along space and time. Sedimentation dynamics are ruling clearly the grain size predominant in each area of the MarMenor coastal lagoon, determining the existence of entrainment, transport and sedimentation areas. Forminerals, elements and organic matter, sedimentation dynamics are also determining their distribution.The authors would like to thank Fundación Séneca for funding the project 12038/PI/09. In addition, they want to acknowledge the cooperation of J.M. Peñas, R. Baños, J. Saura, M. Saura and B. Villaescusa who helped us to improve this research and to Mr. and Mrs. Purves for their English grammar supervision

    Coastal Ecosystem Science: Getting Thirsty?

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    This lesson is designed to help students understand what causes droughts and how they affect coastal ecosystems and human communities. As a result of these activities students will be able to define drought and explain how drought conditions may affect coastal ecosystems, discuss how drought conditions correlate with water temperature changes in the tropical Pacific Ocean, and use various data sources to investigate streamflow and drought conditions in selected locations. This site provides required worksheets and links to complete the lesson. Educational levels: High school, Middle school

    SHRIMP MARICULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN ECUADOR: SOME RESOURCE POLICY ISSUES

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    During the past 15 years, Ecuador has become the Western Hemisphere's leading producer and exporter of shrimp. Growth has come about largely through mariculture development. About 8,000 metric tons (MT) of shrimp have been captured off the Ecuadorian coast each year since the late 1970s. Meanwhile, pond output has increased several-fold, from less than 5,000 MT in 1979 to over 100,000 MT 12 years later (Table 1). Mariculture has expanded largely at the expense of renewable natural resources. Mangrove swamps, characterized by extremely high biological productivity and, therefore, a critical element of coastal ecosystems, have been displaced. In addition, shrimp postlarvae (PL) collection has at times been excessive and wastewater emissions from some enterprises harm the environment. Mariculture also suffers from water pollution from agricultural, urban, and industrial sources. This paper first describes the extent and consequences of coastal ecosystem disturbance; then presents a causal analysis of environmental problems. Policies contributing to depletive management of wetlands and related resources are similar to policies stimulating tropical deforestation. The tenurial regime rewards those who convert coastal ecosystems into shrimp ponds, just as frontier property arrangements encourage agricultural colonists to convert natural ecosystems into farmland (Southgate 1990). In addition, mariculture's geographic expansion, like agriculture's, has been accelerated by inadequate spending on education, research, and extension (Southgate 1991). If this policy regime remains unchanged, continued deterioration of Ecuador's coastal ecosystems is inevitable.Resource /Energy Economics and Policy,
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