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.
This paper presents a Coastal Risk Index (CRI-MED) developed to assess coastal risks and vulnerabilities associated with the physical and socio-economic impacts of climate change in all Mediterranean coastal zones. CRI-MED is a spatial risk index, which combines variables (multiple data layers) representing different aspects of risk in such a way that coastal areas of relatively higher risk emerge from the integration of the variables. It creates an interface between theoretical concepts of risk and the decision-making process relating to disaster risk reduction. Based on a GIS application, CRI-MED provides relative hazard, exposure, vulnerability and risk maps of the Mediterranean region that allow researchers and policy-makers to identify coastal areas most at risk from coastal erosion and coastal flooding, the so-called “hot-spots”. Through the application of CRI-MED on 21 Mediterranean countries, coastal hot-spots are found to be predominantly located in the south-eastern Mediterranean region. Countries with the highest percentage of extremely high risk values are Syria (30.5%), Lebanon (22.1%), Egypt (20.7%), and Palestine (13.7%). The CRI-MED method is intended as a scientific tool which produces easily understandable outcomes, to support international organizations and national governments to enhance and mainstream decision-making based on information that is accessible and useful. The definition of coastal hot-spots aims to support the prioritization of policies and resources for adaptation and Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM). In particular, the resulting risk maps enable identification of suitable and less suitable areas for urban settlements, infrastructures and economic activities.
Source: A. Satta, M. Puddu, S. Venturini and S. Giupponi (2017); “Assessment of coastal risks to climate change related impacts at the regional scale: The case of the Mediterranean region”, International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, Volume 24, September 2017, Pages: 284 – 296; Received: 9 February 2017; Received in revised form: 12 June 2017; Accepted: 13 June 2017; Available Online: 19 June 2019 under https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.06.018
Marine Protected Areas (MPA) are one of the several means of protecting ocean biodiversity and are fundamental to the Aichi Biodiversity Target 11 of 2010. However, many existing reserves are inefficient in meeting current conservation goals and are questioned regarding their habitat representivity. This paper assesses the efficiency of existing Welsh reserves in meeting conservation goals, including implications of changing objectives. Marxan conservation planning software was used to determine 20 broad-scale habitat types found in territorial seas, using data obtained from the European Environment Agency's Level 3 Predicted EUNIS Habitats GIS dataset. Results demonstrated that the current Welsh MPA network, even at the lowest conservation targets (≤10%), fails to suitably represent more than two-thirds of the broad-scale habitats found in its coastal waters. Subsequently, a range of alternative reserve design scenarios was developed to reduce inefficiency opportunity costs. Analysis indicated that an increase of less than 5% in total reserve area, plus a retention of 75% of the current network area, would create a new network to meet or exceed all stated conservation goals. Therefore, existing reserves can be incorporated into an efficient, ecologically representative network that reduces international conservation opportunity costs.
Source: C. House, D. Redmond and M. R. Phillips (2017); “An assessment of the efficiency and ecological representativity of existing marine reserve networks in Wales, UK”, In Press, Corrected Proof, Ocean & Coastal Management; Available Online: 30 May 2017 under https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.04.016
Anthropogenic climate change is already affecting marine ecosystems and the responses of living-resources to warming waters are various, ranging from the modifications in the abundance of key species to phenologic and biogeographic shifts. Here, we used a recently developed Ecological Niche Model (ENM) to evaluate the potential effects of global climate change on the future geographical distribution of the European anchovy. We first modelled the ecological niche (sensu Hutchinson) of the fish and projected its future spatial range using new IPCC representative concentration pathways (RCPs) scenarios and five of the latest generation of ocean-atmosphere global circulation models. We chose this multi-model and multi-scenario approach to evaluate the range of possible trajectories until the end of the century. Our projections indicate that substantial poleward shifts in the probability of anchovy occurrence are very likely and highlight areas where European anchovy fisheries are forecasted to change most. Whatever the warming scenario, our results project a reduction in the probability of occurrence in all the regions located under 48°N and an increase in more northern areas. However, increases or decreases in the probability of occurrence are greater under the “business-as-usual” scenario RCP8.5 than under the low-emission scenario RCP2.6.
Keywords: Climate-driven changes; Geographical range; European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus).
Source: V. Raybaud, M. Bacha, R. Amara and G. Beaugrand (2017); “Forecasting climate-driven changes in the geographical range of the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus)”, Published: 15 February 2017: Received: 30 May 2016; Revision Received: 24 November 2016; Accepted: 18 December 2016; Available Online under: https://doi.org/10.1093/icesjms/fsx003
This perspective examines case examples, primarily from the U. S. Carolinas and Alabama, that illustrate some of the flaws of four federal programs of the last 50 years (National Flood Insurance Program, U. S. Coastal Barrier Resources Act, Coastal Area Management Act, Stafford Disaster Relief Act), as well as general reasons for state and local regulation failures. The latter include: variances that undercut the regulatory intent by the tyranny of small decisions, emergency dispensations, and compensatory mitigation; allowances for ‘temporary’ shore-hardening structures that become permanent; establishing control lines that are not adjusted to shifting shorelines; over-simplifying (one-size-fits-all) and misapplying (importing inappropriate strategies) regulations; conflicting jurisdictional boundaries; and the political instability of regulatory laws. Political-legislative realm failures include: 1) generalized laws do not match the complexity of coasts; 2) legislators lack the foresight to provide funding for regulatory monitoring/enforcement/penalties; 3) legislative bodies lack continuity of visions or goals for the future (e.g., overturn or weaken prior regulatory legislation); and 4) politicians are subject to conflicts of interest (e.g., affluent coastal land owners; pro-development lobbies). The political-legislative disconnect from the reality of Nature, and failure to use longer-term projections of erosion rates, sediment supply, and effects of sea-level rise, are the most frequent culprits in regulatory failure. New starting points for sound regulatory coastal management are better-informed politicians with the will to enact laws based on science that reflect natural variability, and laws that are unflawed by variances or over simplification. Regulations need to have continuity, proper funding, and enforcement.
Keywords: Management; Regulations; Coastal zone; Alabama; North Carolina; Mining.
Source: W. J. Neal, O. H. Pilkey, J. A. G. Cooper and N. J. Longo (2017); “Why coastal regulations fail”, In Press, Corrected Proof, Ocean & Coastal Management; Available Online: 23 May 2017 under https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.05.003