In the northeastern United States, flooding arising from wave overtopping poses a constant threat to coastal communities during storm events. The purpose of this study is to construct a novel integrated atmosphere-ocean-coast modeling framework based on the coupled tide, surge and wave model, ADCIRC-SWAN, to assess risk and facilitate coastal adaptation and resilience to flooding in a changing climate in this region. The integrated modeling system was validated against the field observations of water level, wave height and period during the January 2015 North American blizzard. Water level measurements by a sensor in the Avenues Basin behind the Seawall in Scituate, Massachusetts were combined with the basin volume determined by the USGS LIDAR data to verify the model predictions of wave overtopping volume. At the storm peak, the significant wave height was increased by 0.7 m at the coast by tide and surge. The wave setup along the coast varied from 0.1 m to 0.25 m depending on the coastline geometry. The interaction between tide-surge and waves increased the wave overtopping rate by five folds mainly due to increased wave height at the toe of the seawall. The wave overtopping discharge would approximately double in an intermediate sea level rise scenario of 0.36 m by 2050 for a storm like the January 2015 North American blizzard. The wave overtopping discharge would increase by 1.5 times if the seawall crest elevation was raised by the same amount as sea level rise. An increase of 0.9 m in the seawall crest elevation is required to bring the wave overtopping discharge to the current level under a 0.36 m sea level rise scenario, primarily due to larger waves arriving at the seawall without breaking in the presence of larger water depth.
Conflicts among and between local, national, regional and international stakeholders involved in marine turtle conservation are increasing. Often, they arise because of different socio-economic backgrounds of the people or groups involved. Here, we identified and assessed the conservation-based conflicts occurring in 24 of the 39 Caribbean countries, including their frequency, level of severity, number of stakeholders' groups involved, the degree to which they hinder conservation goals, and potential solutions. Using a cross-sectional social survey, we evaluated the presence and details of conservation conflicts provided by 72 respondents. The respondents included conservation-based project leaders, researchers, people involved in policy-based decision-making, conservation volunteers (community-based conservation groups), and species experts with experience working on marine turtle conservation programs in the Caribbean. The respondents identified 136 conflicts, and we grouped them into 16 different categories. The most commonly mentioned causes of conflicts were: 1) the ‘lack of enforcement by local authorities to support conservation-based legislation or programs’ (18%); 2) ‘legal consumption of turtles by one sector of community clashing the conservation aspirations of other sectors of community (14%); and 3) ’variable enforcement of legislation to limit/prohibit use across range states of the species (10%). From our data it is also apparent that illicit activities in the region are also likely to impact the future success of conservation or monitoring based projects and programs. Overall, an exhaustive review was carried out, and the potential solutions were gathered. Due to the level of severity (physical violence) that some conflicts have reached, achieving solutions will be challenging without mediation, mutual cooperation around shared values, and adaptive management arrangements. Achieving this will require combinations of bottom up and top down collaborative governance approaches.
Climate change and sea level rise (SLR) poses serious risks to coastal communities around the world requiring nations to apply adaptation laws and policies. Climate change will exacerbate the existing threats to vulnerable communities, such as the poor, and threaten the food security of populations in coastal areas through the effects of flooding due to coastal inundation. Indonesia is an Archipelagic State of over 17,000 islands and is vulnerable to climate change impacts in its coastal areas and especially in its highly populated low lying delta areas, such as Jakarta and Semarang, where vulnerability to sea level rise is evident. The adequacy of the legal adaptation framework in Indonesia to respond to this climate vulnerability is assessed and it is found to have limited consideration of the community burden arising from these climate and SLR uncertainties. A more inclusive social justice approach could assist government to respond to the impacts from these issues and to their implications for vulnerable groups. The nation can improve adaptive legal measures to address climate change impacts and increase the involvement of local people in climate change adaptation decision making. Funding is required to assist policy makers to further incorporate adaptation into decision making, and this could improve social justice outcomes for vulnerable Indonesian coastal communities.
The oceans and fisheries are strongly impacted by climate change and acidification, and will increasingly be so. Four multilateral funds have been created under the climate change regime in order to support developing countries’ adaptation. These funds finance a number of projects mostly or partly related to marine and coastal fisheries. They include measures of a structural nature meant to modify laws, policies or strategies and to improve one’s understanding of climate change impacts on fisheries; measures to improve fish stocks’ resilience to climate change, by reducing harvesting and ecosystem-related stressors; and measures to improve fishing communities’ resilience in terms of food security and livelihoods. A majority of the marine fisheries projects focuses on the countries that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change on marine fisheries. However, many vulnerable countries still do not receive financial support for adaptation in the marine fisheries sector. The four multilateral funds operate with insufficient and unequal levels of transparency regarding several stages of projects’ cycles; this raises issues of efficiency and accountability. The four funds also do not provide a harmonized and searchable marker dedicated to fisheries; this lack of transparency makes it impossible for the international community to comprehensively monitor progress in the implementation of Sustainable Development Goals 13 and 14. In any case, the existence of adaptation projects focused on coastal and marine fisheries may serve to promote the mainstreaming of ocean-related questions into the climate change regime.
Despite the attention given to genetic biodiversity in international agreements such as the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) Strategic Plan and the Aichi Targets, previous research points at a “conservation genetics gap,” indicating that scientific insights into genetic biodiversity are poorly integrated into practical management. Both researchers and managers call for platforms for knowledge exchange between science and practice. However, few scientific studies on the potential effects of such knowledge transfer have been conducted. The present study is a follow-up to Lundmark et al. (2017), which identified significant effects of two forms of knowledge communication on conservation managers’ concerns and beliefs in regard to Baltic Sea genetic biodiversity. This study departs from Lundmark et al. (2017) and explores (a) whether the identified alterations in knowledge and beliefs persist over time, and (b) whether potential stability differs between different types of policy beliefs as well as between two types of knowledge communication (lecture and group deliberation). The results of this follow-up study show that the positive impacts on managers’ self-assessed knowledge remained, while the effects on policy beliefs largely had vanished a few months after the knowledge communication. Thus, changes in beliefs seem perishable, suggesting that continuity is more important than the form of educational efforts.
Small‐scale coastal fisheries (SSCF) in the Western region of Ghana are affected by a combination of climate and non‐climate stressors. Coastal communities are particularly vulnerable to these stressors because of their proximity to the sea and high dependence on small‐scale fisheries for their livelihoods. A better understanding of how fishing communities, particularly SSCF, respond to climate and non‐climate stressors is paramount to improve planning and implementation of effective adaptation action. Drawing on the capitals framework, this study examines the adaptive capacity of SSCF to the combined effects of climate‐related (increasing coastal erosion, and wave and storm frequency) and non‐climate‐related stressors (declining catches; scarcity and prohibitive cost of fuel; inconsiderate implementation of fisheries laws and policies; competition from the oil and gas industry; sand mining; and algal blooms). The findings show how fishers mobilise and use adaptive capacity through exploitation of various forms of capital, including cultural capital (e.g., local innovation); political capital (e.g., lobbying government and local authorities); social capital (e.g., collective action); human capital (e.g., local leadership); and natural capital (e.g., utilising beach sand) to respond to multiple stressors. Nevertheless, in many cases, fishers’ responses were reactive and led to negative (maladaptive) outcomes. Furthermore, this study underscores the importance of critically considering the interactive nature of capitals and how they collectively influence adaptive capacity in the planning and implementation of adaptation research, policy and practice.
The number of fixed oil and gas platforms are declining in the Gulf of Mexico, there were ∼3674 platforms installed the since 1942 and today there are ∼1320. Eventually, ∼30,000 jobs will be lost in related industries because of platform removals. Retired oil and gas platforms could be redeployed for alternate uses such as CO2 capture and storage, renewable wind energy, and sustainable fisheries and employ citizens in coastal areas. Elsewhere around the world, offshore platforms are used for purposes other than producing oil and gas. U.S. Federal legislation (Energy Policy Act 2005 Section 388 of Public Law [PL] 109-58); 30 CFR 285.1000 Subpart J) authorizes the use of retired oil and gas platforms for alternate uses. If the retired oil and gas structures are preserved, the infrastructure could also be used to recover stranded petroleum using CO2 enhanced oil recovery (CO2-EOR). We examined the socio-economic incentives, environmental impacts, and regulatory issues associated with the alternate uses. We suggest that CO2-EOR is the most economically efficient way to store CO2 offshore and that offshore wind turbines may assist with the energy requirements for oil and gas production and CO2-EOR. Data suggest that in our study area offshore platforms are more successful at producing fish and invertebrates if they are left standing instead of toppled over. The greatest regulatory issue facing the use of retired platforms is the transfer of liability. If the structures are redeployed, the previous oil and gas owner/operators are still responsible for eventual removal and catastrophic events. A variety of future economic activity in the Gulf of Mexico could take advantage of this infrastructure, if it remains in place.
The presence of scientific uncertainty in relation to the ecological impacts of deep seabed mining has led to increased interest in the use of adaptive management as part of the environmental regulatory structure for the deep seabed mineral exploitation regime. This paper assesses the prospects for using adaptive management as part of the deep seabed mining regulatory framework with a specific focus on the legal and institutional dimensions of the regime. In this regard, this paper argues that adaptive management is likely to play a crucial role in the deep seabed mining regime owing to the current uncertain state of knowledge respecting the deep seabed environmental well as the ambiguity surrounding the standards respecting the acceptable levels of harm associated with deep seabed mining. However, despite the high demand for adaptive management, institutional arrangements, such as the need for the ISA to meet its due diligence obligations and strong security of tenure protections, may constrain the ISA in implementing adaptive management approaches. More broadly, this paper seeks to contribute to our understanding of the unique legal nature of the ISA as a front line resource regulator operating within the system of international law.
Tropical coral reef ecosystems in the Pacific region are degrading rapidly as ocean temperatures rise and local anthropogenic stressors increase. In this context of rapid change, effective site-based management of coral reef fisheries necessitates flexible environmental governance that is closely attuned to the needs of multiple stakeholders who depend on the fishery for income, food, and cultural identity. As such, many practitioners and scholars call for adaptive co-management of coral reef fisheries where local resource users play a primary role in environmental governance with the support of flexible institutions that operate across organizational scales. This article describes the history and evaluates the current status of marine governance in Moorea, French Polynesia. Established in 2004, the management framework is under revision because it has failed to meet its ecological objectives and has generated discontent among many stakeholders. Drawing on household surveys, interviews, and archival information, the challenges to as well as the factors that may enable a more successful transition of the current governance arrangement towards co-management are detailed. It is argued that recent social mobilization, subsistence and cultural links to the fishery, the presence of geographically and socially relevant traditional governance boundaries, and the implementation of co-management in other parts of French Polynesia are positive factors. However, lack of trust between stakeholders, social heterogeneity, disruption of traditional cultural institutions and practices, minimal institutional support, and an uncertain legal framework suggest that there are significant headwinds for maneuvering towards successful co-management in Moorea.
The study of recent past trajectories of vulnerability to climate-related hazards allows for highlighting the prevailing environmental and anthropogenic drivers that operated over the last fifty to sixty years and given latency phenomena in social systems, therefore have the potential to continue driving a system’s vulnerability in the coming decades. Stop or even reverse these trends represents as much unavoidable solutions for enhancing concrete long-term adaptation to climate change, whatever the end-century warming scenario.
Using the case study of Reunion Island (Indian Ocean), we emphasize four major drivers of the recent coastal trajectory of vulnerability, i.e. changes in human-built assets, shoreline position, natural buffers’ characteristics, and the extent of coastal protection structures. Together, these drivers highlight the need for controlling the urbanisation process to reduce the anthropogenic pressures exerted on morphological-ecological systems, restoring the buffering function of the latter, and moving towards a less hard structure-dependent coastal defence strategy. Such a shift in coastal management however supposes some radical changes in the way coastal development strategies consider environmental issues (hazards, resources and services). Here we bring empirical material showing that neither Reunion Island decision-makers are keen to drive such radical changes, nor the population is ready to accept potentially constraining policies that will have benefits only in the future. We conclude on the need for further advancing the design of adaptation pathways that build on the implementation of context-specific unavoidable solutions, and thus that seriously consider limiting the risk of maladaptation as a baseline strategy.