Ecosytem-Based Coastal Adaptation to Climate Change
Coastal wetlands provide important ecosystem services both to mitigate climate change and adapt to climate change. Using field data and numerical modelling, the restoration of previously lost coastal wetlands is studied as an integral part of developing sustainable coastal management plans to effectively harvest the ecosystem services provided by coastal wetlands. This research helps to inform local and national decision makers to implement ecosystem-based approaches to coastal adaptation with co-benefits to local communities and the wider society.
We work with local, regional and national stakeholders, such as the Environment Agency, Natural England and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to quantify the coastal protection function of restored saltmarshes. Near Boston, Lincolnshire, for example, we use pressure sensors to measure wave heights and water levels within the Managed Realignment (a technique to restore saltmarshes by re-introducing the tidal regime into previously reclaimed land) Freiston Shore. This provides novel insights into the reduction of wave heights and water levels during storm surges.
This research will provide decision-makers with the necessary scientific evidence to develop long-term strategies for coastal adaption, and it will further our knowledge on how to build effective and sustainable coastal sea defences in the UK and elsewhere.
- Kiesel, Joshua, Schuerch, Mark, Möller, Iris, Spencer, Tom and Vafeidis, Athanasios (2019) Attenuation of high water levels over restored saltmarshes can be limited. Insights from Freiston Shore, Lincolnshire, UK. Ecological Engineering, 136 . pp. 89-100. ISSN 0925-8574.
- Kiesel, Joshua, Schuerch, Mark, Christie, Elizabeth K., Möller, Iris, Spencer, Tom and Vafeidis, Athanasios T. (2020) Effective design of managed realignment schemes can reduce coastal flood risks. Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science, 242 . p. 106844. ISSN 0272-7714