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. 23, 2011-03-15

Examining locally driven climate change policy efforts in three Pacific states
(Abstract...)

Effects of Unplanned Development on Marine Biodiversity: A Lesson from Albania (Central Mediterranean Sea)
(Abstract...)

Resilience assessment on coastline changes and urban settlements: A case study in Seribu Islands, Indonesia
(Abstract...)

Impact of seawalls on loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting and hatching success
(Abstract...)

Abstract

Examining locally driven climate change policy efforts in three Pacific states

Local jurisdictions play a critical role in climate change mitigation and adaptation. This study analyzes the theoretical framework of locally driven climate change actions and uses geographic information system (GIS) to map local jurisdictions’ climate change policy efforts in three Pacific states – California, Oregon, and Washington. The results of our study indicate statistically significant differences in geographic clusters and variations across jurisdictions. An Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model was used to examine climate risk, emission stress, and socioeconomic context variables to detect influence on local climate change policy efforts. The explanatory results indicate that coastal proximity, population density, vehicles emission, and education variables significantly influence local jurisdictions’ climate change actions. The findings contribute to local organizational decision model research and can help local communities to develop more effective climate change policies.

Keywords: Climate change policy; Local jurisdictions; Geographic Information System (GIS); An Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) regression model.

Source: Z. Tang, S. D. Brody, R. Li, C. Quinn and N. Zhao (2011); “Examining locally driven climate change policy efforts in three Pacific states”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Corrected Proof; Available Online: 12 January 2011, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2011.01.002

Contact: ztang2@unl.edu

Link: ScienceDirect

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Effects of Unplanned Development on Marine Biodiversity: A Lesson from Albania (Central Mediterranean Sea)

Human activities determine dramatic changes in natural systems, especially in marine coastal areas. This is especially true when economic development is fast and scarcely regulated, representing a serious threat to biodiversity. Besides the obvious prediction of impairment of natural systems, forecasting the effects of human activities can be particularly challenging since they affect species and assemblages, the patterns of distribution and extent of which are often totally unknown. In Vlora Bay, we show through an interdisciplinary project that 15 years of coastal development can result in a loss of over 50% of seagrass cover and a decline in macroalgae cover such as Cystoseira spp., which are structurally and functionally crucial habitats that provide essential goods and services for local human communities and recreation. Furthermore, illegal fishery practices (date mussel fishery, trawling, and use of explosives) contribute to depict a scenario of fragmentation and loss of shallow species-rich assemblages. Large-scale changes in sedimentation patterns have been recognised as one of the main drivers of those changes. This model of development, associated with nearly irreversible environmental consequences, as observed in Albania, can serve as an example for many other Mediterranean areas, showing a combination of high biodiversity and low protection regime. We discuss the urgent need for ecosystem-based management to ensure sustainable development while conserving and managing natural biodiversity and resources.

Keywords: Unplanned development; Marine biodiversity loss; Illegal fishery practices; Ecosystem-based management; Vlora Bay; Albania.

Source: S. Fraschetti, A. Terlizzi, G. Guarnieri, F. Pizzolante, P. D'Ambrosio, P. Maiorano, S. Beqiraj and F. Boero (2011); “Effects of Unplanned Development on Marine Biodiversity: A Lesson from Albania (Central Mediterranean Sea)”, Journal of Coastal Research: Special Issue 58 - Coastal Research in Albania: Vlora Gulf [Tursi & Corselli]: pp. 106 – 115; Received: 12 April 2010; Accepted: 12 April 2010; Available Online under DOI: 10.2112/SI_58_10.

Contact: simona.fraschetti@unisalento.it

Link: jcronline

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Resilience assessment on coastline changes and urban settlements: A case study in Seribu Islands, Indonesia

The sustainable development in the ocean and coastal areas has been an issue for the archipelago nation. Since two decades ago, some archipelago nations have attempted to implement the concept of both scientifically and politically sounding sustainability. The vulnerability assessment is one of the methods that are being used to measure the ocean and coastal sustainability in order to have better evaluation and redesign of the land development as well as policy making. Most of the vulnerability assessment has been conducted based on pressures, damages and changes that involve in the region. A common understanding of the vulnerability assessment is that there are three aspects to be considered: hazards, resilience and damages. These three aspects must be well defined at first in order to have better indicators or sub-indices for the vulnerability index. There are several issues and factors that should be considered before performing the vulnerability assessment. Firstly, each country has different coastal characteristics due to a different geologic process. Secondly, the three aspects of the vulnerability (i.e. hazards, resilience and damages) are impacting on each country at a different scale. Thirdly, the vulnerability of a small island region is different from that of a large island region. Finally, policies and regulations vary in each country. From the data analysis results, it is found that the urban settlement in Seribu Islands is one of the resilient factors in addition to the geological and geomorphological conditions. The resilience factors in Seribu Islands are classified into four categories: 1) settlements area, 2) population density, 3) hard infrastructure such as airfields, ports and roads, 4) geological process such as abrasion and erosion. Based on the island characteristics of Seribu Islands, a unique vulnerability index that fits to this locality is developed. It is shown that the vulnerability index developed in this study can measure the resilience of Seribu Islands. In addition to the aforementioned resilience factors, the unique geographical condition and the geological stability in Seribu Islands made the outer islands become a barrier from oceanographic conditions and made the inner islands protected. However, the population growth made significant changes in terms of ecology, water, sanitation and pollution within the region.

Keywords: Resiliance assessment; Coastline changes; Urban settlements; Seribu islands, Indonesia.

Source: A.R. Farhan and S. Lim (2010); “Resilience assessment on coastline changes and urban settlements: A case study in Seribu Islands, Indonesia”, Ocean & Coastal Management, Article in Press, Corrected Proof; Available Online: 13 December 2010, under DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2010.12.003.

Contact: arfarhan@gmail.com

Link: ScienceDirect

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Impact of seawalls on loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting and hatching success

As coastal development becomes increasingly threatened by erosion, installation of armoring such as seawalls has been applied to protect property by permanently relocating the position of a dune. The physical impact of seawalls to beach ecosystems is relatively well-understood, but the impact to sea turtle nesting remains unclear. We investigated the impact using observations of loggerhead sea turtle nesting in Florida at a seaward wall over 7 years, and a more landward wall over 3 years. Nesting patterns indicated that passive erosion at seawalls likely caused fewer turtles to attempt to nest on armored beach when compared with unarmored beach. Nests placed in front of seawalls were more likely to be washed away in storms. Placement of walls further from the shoreline may only delay the impact to nesting turtles by a few years. Armoring is expected to multiply as sea levels rise and storms become more frequent; thus, the availability of appropriate nesting habitat for loggerhead sea turtles remains at risk.

Keywords: Seawalls; Loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta); Nesting; Armored beach; Unarmored beach.

Source: C. E. Rizkalla and A. Savage (2011); “Impact of seawalls on loggerhead sea turtle (Caretta caretta) nesting and hatching success”, Journal of Coastal Research, Volume 27, Issue 1, Pages 166 – 173. Received: 2 June 2010; Accepted: 17 August 2010; Published Online: 12 November 2010, under DOI: 10.2112/JCOASTRES-D-10-00081.1.

Contact: Anne.Savage@disney.com

Link: jcronline

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