The benefits of coastal management

Woods Hole Group's Commercial Township Salt Hay Farm Restoration Project

New approach reveals the benefits of coastal management.

Here is an interesting article about some research in the UK combining salt marsh restoration modeling with contingent valuation to target the most efficient and beneficial sites for “managed realignment” (breaching coastal defenses to flood land to restore salt marshes).

With the world’s coasts increasingly threatened by erosion, silting and sea-level rise resulting from natural and man-made changes in the environment, finding economically viable ways of managing these valuable resources is increasingly urgent.

Comparing the benefits of ecosystem services provided by restored salt marshes (pollutant storage, flood retention, biodiversity, recreation) to the costs (loss of agricultural land, loss of land value, cost of construction) on a site-by-site basis allows planners to make better decisions.  Such an ability to strategically site restoration projects is increasingly important as many countries have developed along the coast and are losing salt marshes due to “coastal squeeze” (sea walls and other coastal development prevent salt marshes from migrating upland as sea levels rise).

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