Developing indicators to identify coastal green infrastructure potential: The case of the Salish Sea region
This study investigates where coastal green infrastructure (CGI) can provide highest potential coastal protection benefits, while considering its vulnerability to environmental conditions. CGI provides important coastal protection benefits, however, influenced by climate change and human activities, these benefits are highly threatened. This vulnerability of CGI was not considered in the previous studies. This study provides a framework and an indicator-based methodology to fill this gap. A review of the literature was conducted to identify the parameters used to measure CGI's coastal protection benefits and vulnerability. The content of the references that contained specific parameters related to CGI's role in coastal protection and vulnerability were systematically reviewed. A total of 11 indicators were identified and organized into two indices: CGI coastal protection index, and CGI vulnerability index. The indices were synthesized using a 2 × 2 matrix to identify areas with the highest coastal protection potential. Analysis was conducted for the 74 most populated coastal communities in the Salish Sea region. Results indicate that the British Columbia communities in the Salish Sea region have high potential to utilize CGI for coastal protection. CGI in 59% of the communities in British Columbia and 36% in Washington State can provide high coastal protection benefits, even when vulnerability is accounted for.