REMINDER: EUCC-France international conference Littoral 2016

logo_litThe 13th conference of the traditional biennial international event of the Coastal & Marine Union (EUCC) is  “Littoral 2016” : The changing littoral. Anticipation and adaptation to climate change. The conference will be held in Biarritz (France) from October 25 to October 29, 2016.

The presentation of the conference can be found here: English Presentation-Littoral 2016.

  • Deadline for the early-bird registration: 1st June 2016.

To find more information please consult the following website: littoral2016.univ-pau.fr

EMECS’11 – Sea Coasts ’XXVI Joint Conference: “Managing risks to coastal regions and communities in a changing world”

logoAugust 22-27, 2016. St. Petersburg.

Main topics of the Conference

•Coastal systems and their dynamics (from coast to water and from water to coast);
• Coastal erosion and dynamical processes in the nearshore zone;
• GIS & marine spatial planning;
• Climate change in the changing world. Coastal adaptation to climate change.

Deadline for submission of abstracts February 20, 2016

More information

EUCC-France : Workshop in the Bay of Txingudi in March 2016

The next EUCC-France and EUCC Center Atlantic workshop will be held in the Bay of Txingudi (Hendaye), March 2016.

Questions of cross-border management both in France and in Spain will be discussed around several possible thematic:

  • Silting up of the bay
  • Protected habitats and species
  • Coastal squeeze and sea level rise
  • Management of conflicting uses

More information will be made available in September with the launch of the blog and the start of the registrations. Please, be aware that this workshop will be in French.

Finally, the presentations during the international conference of Biarritz (22-23 June 2015) are now available online: https://euccbiarritzen.wordpress.com/

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers releases report on coastal storm and flood risk in the North Atlantic region of the United States

MagdalenaMuir

By Magdalena Coastal and MarinE News Editor

On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, of 2013 (Public Law 113-2), to assist in the recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As part of the law, the Congress tasked the Corps to work with a variety of partners to conduct a comprehensive study of the coastal areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to evaluate flood risks and, that as part of the study, to identify areas warranting additional analysis and institutional and other barriers to providing protection. (Chapter 4 of Public Law 113-2).

Many communities along the Northeast remain vulnerable to coastal flooding. The Comprehensive Study identified nine high-risk focus areas that warrant additional analysis. They are (in no particular order): 1) Rhode Island Coastline; 2) Connecticut Coastline; 3) New York-New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries; 4) Nassau County Back Bays, New York; 5) New Jersey Back Bays; 6) Delaware Inland Bays and Delaware Bay Coast; 7) the City of Baltimore; 8) the District of Columbia; and the 9) the City of Norfolk.On January 29, 2013, President Obama signed into law the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act, of 2013 (Public Law 113-2), to assist in the recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. As part of the law, the Congress tasked the Corps to work with a variety of partners to conduct a comprehensive study of the coastal areas affected by Hurricane Sandy to evaluate flood risks and, that as part of the study, to identify areas warranting additional analysis and institutional and other barriers to providing protection. (Chapter 4 of Public Law 113-2).   The Comprehensive Study is designed to help local communities better understand changing flood risks associated with climate change and to provide tools to help those communities better prepare for future flood risks. It builds on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and attempts to bring to bear the latest scientific information available for state, local, and tribal planners. In addition to State, regional, and local governments, FEMA, NOAA, multiple DOI agencies and HUD were major contributors to this study.

The Comprehensive Study is designed to help local communities better understand changing flood risks associated with climate change and to provide tools to help those communities better prepare for future flood risks. It builds on lessons learned from Hurricane Sandy and attempts to bring to bear the latest scientific information available for state, local, and tribal planners. In addition to State, regional, and local governments, FEMA, NOAA, multiple DOI agencies and HUD were major contributors to this study. Many communities along the Northeast remain vulnerable to coastal flooding. The Comprehensive Study identified nine high-risk focus areas that warrant additional analysis. They are (in no particular order): 1) Rhode Island Coastline; 2) Connecticut Coastline; 3) New York-New Jersey Harbor and Tributaries; 4) Nassau County Back Bays, New York; 5) New Jersey Back Bays; 6) Delaware Inland Bays and Delaware Bay Coast; 7) the City of Baltimore; 8) the District of Columbia; and the 9) the City of Norfolk.

The North Atlantic Comprehensive Study was a $19 million study to develop a risk reduction framework for the 31,200 miles of coastline within the North Atlantic Division affected by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo by North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study)

The North Atlantic Comprehensive Study was a $19 million study to develop a risk reduction framework for the 31,200 miles of coastline within the North Atlantic Division affected by Hurricane Sandy

The North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study report includes a nine-step Coastal Storm Risk Management Framework that was developed to help all stakeholders, not solely the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, identify their risk of coastal flooding and evaluate the full range of strategies available to reduce those risks. The Framework can be customized to any size coastal watershed, is repeatable at state and local scales, and is transferable to other areas of the country.  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released to the public a report detailing the results of a two-year study to address coastal storm and flood risk to vulnerable populations, property, ecosystems, and infrastructure in the North Atlantic region of the United States affected by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012.  Congress authorized this report in January 2013 in the Disaster Relief Appropriations Act of 2013 (Public Law 113-2).

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released to the public a report detailing the results of a two-year study to address coastal storm and flood risk to vulnerable populations, property, ecosystems, and infrastructure in the North Atlantic region of the United States affected by Hurricane Sandy in October, 2012. The North Atlantic Coast Comprehensive Study report includes a nine-step Coastal Storm Risk Management Framework that was developed to help all stakeholders, not solely the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, identify their risk of coastal flooding and evaluate the full range of strategies available to reduce those risks. The Framework can be customized to any size coastal watershed, is repeatable at state and local scales, and is transferable to other areas of the country.

Managing coastal storm risk is a shared responsibility by all levels of government and individual property owners. Not all strategies to reduce risks are engineered solutions. Communities should consider adopting a combination of strategies that emphasize wise use of the floodplain and include structural, non-structural, natural and nature-based features, and programmatic measures to manage risk. Improved land use planning, responsible evacuation planning, and strategic retreat are important and cost-effective actions that are proven to reduce coastal flood risks. But no matter what risk reduction strategies are taken, there will always be residual risk.

Managing coastal storm risk is a shared responsibility by all levels of government and individual property owners. Not all strategies to reduce risks are engineered solutions. Communities should consider adopting a combination of strategies that emphasize wise use of the floodplain and include structural, non-structural, natural and nature-based features, and programmatic measures to manage risk. Improved land use planning, responsible evacuation planning, and strategic retreat are important and cost-effective actions that are proven to reduce coastal flood risks. But no matter what risk reduction strategies are taken, there will always be residual risk.

Further information

 NACCS Main Report
 NACCS State Appendices
NACCS Overview video

Monitoring coastal erosion in the UK

How Is Coastal Erosion Monitored?

The Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) allocated £11 million to help English councils deal with coastal erosion back in 2009. The the government has committed to a £2.3 billion investment which will be channelled into preserving the properties and minimising the effects of coastal erosion, which demonstrates how increasingly problematic coastal erosion is. A spokesperson  for the Environment Agency explains that the recent announcement of £2.3bn investment over the next six years will see significant investment in coastal flood and erosion risk management, with 15,000 properties better protected from coastal erosion over the next six years.  Coastal managers in the Uk use a range of advanced techniques to monitor and assess the causes and impacts of coastal erosion. These techniques are employed by environmental specialists across the globe and play an integral role in helping to safeguard coastlines against rapid erosion.

Shoreline mapping Coastlines are inherently dynamic which makes mapping a difficult venture. Scientists draw on a variety of data sources to draw up an accurate representation and use the result to analyse historical trends and future predictions.

Analysing historical maps Comparing before and after photographs is sometimes the easiest, cheapest and most insightful way of determine how coastal erosion has impacted a landscape over a long period of time. Historical photographs often offer an accurate representation of shoreline structure that other data sources simply cannot deliver.

Aerial photographs Since the 1920s aerial photographs have been used to gather information about coastal erosion trends. They offer accurate special coverage and insight into how erosion could affect inland areas.

Beach profiling surveys When it comes to measuring the short term effects of coastal erosion beach profiling surveys are the technique of choice. Surveyors track fluctuations in shoreline position and beach volume which can then be used to determine long term effects.

Remote sensing Thanks to technological advancement environmental scientists can now use airborne, satellite and on-land remote sensing equipment to monitor coastal erosion. These include microwave sensors, multispectral and hyperspectral imaging, GPS and airborne light detection and ranging technology (LIDAR).

Video analysis Video is another popular technique used to gather continuous information on the effects of coastal erosion. It’s quantitative, affordable and accurate which makes it a technique of choice for almost all case studies.

President Obama signs Executive Order for Federal Flood Risk Management Standard Requiring Federal Construction Projects to Plan for Flood Risks From Climate Change

President Obama signed an Executive Order for the Federal Flood Risk Management Standard requiring that all federally funded construction projects take into account the flood risks linked to global warming. Planners of federally funded buildings, roads and other infrastructure will be required to account for the impact of possible flooding from rising sea levels or more extreme precipitation, effects that scientists say will result from a warming planet. Agencies currently use historical flood data when creating building plans.

To meet the new standard, builders must meet one of three requirements. They can make plans using data and methods informed by the best available climate science; or build two feet above the current projected elevation for once-every-100-year floods for most projects, but three feet above that level for critical buildings like hospitals and evacuation centers; or build to elevations at which flooding is currently projected once every 500 years. The standard would also make  low-lying land ineligible for construction with federal funds.

In the Executive Order, President Obama outlined a process for requesting and considering of public input, including from governors, mayors, and other stakeholders, before the standard is implemented. Once public input has been considered, including from a series of public listening sessions to be held across the country, and the guidelines are finalized, agencies will implement the Standard through rulemaking or other procedures which will incorporate input from the public and stakeholders.

The move is one of a series of actions taken by Mr. Obama as he seeks to build his legacy on climate change. He has already proposed a sweeping set of Environmental Protection Agency regulations aimed at reducing planet-warming carbon pollution from vehicle tailpipes and power plant smokestacks, and he is working with other world leaders to forge a global climate change accord by the end of the year.

Several scientific reports have signaled that the early effects of global warming — particularly rising sea levels and more extreme storms — are inevitable, based on the level of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere. Economists have begun to warn that policy makers must begin to plan for the costs of damages wrought by climate change. From 1980 to 2013, the United States suffered more than $260 billion in flood-related damages, according to the White House. More than 50 percent of Americans live in coastal areas, where infrastructure and evacuation routes are increasingly vulnerable to higher sea levels.

Further information:

New York Times article: Federal Construction Projects Must Plan for Flood Risks from Climate Change

Environmental News Service: Obama Orders Higher Flood Risk Standard for Federal Projects

Obama Orders Higher Flood Risk Standard for Federal Projects

Atelier EUCC France – Érosion côtière: des techniques montagnardes pour protéger le littoral varois

Toulon, 18 oct. 2014 (AFP) –

Filets anti-éboulements, gabions en rondins d’acacia: des techniques utilisées en montagne sont expérimentées sur
le littoral varois pour contrecarrer l’érosion, ce fléau qui a arraché l’hiver dernier jusqu’à vingt mètres de côte en
Aquitaine.
“Il faut travailler avec la nature plutôt que contre la nature”, explique la présidente de l’association française du
réseau européen du littoral (EUCC-France), Yvonne Battiau-Queney.
“Mais pour utiliser des processus naturels, il faut les connaître”, souligne l’initiatrice d’ateliers organisés mardi et
mercredi dans la région toulonnaise pour sensibiliser à des remèdes compatibles avec le développement durables.
L’érosion côtière est une préoccupation nationale, souligne Loïc Gouguet, chargé de mission littoral à l’Office
national des Forêts (ONF). “Une +stratégie nationale de gestion du trait de côte+ n’est pourtant en place que
depuis 2011”, pointe-t-il.
Il est par exemple impossible de chiffrer avec précision les mètres carrés abandonnés chaque année à la mer.
“Une étude de 2010 sur le littoral aquitain prévoyait qu’en 2020 l’équivalent de 1.500 terrains de foot allait
disparaître du fait de l’érosion dunaire”, explique le chercheur.
“Mais lors de la tempête de l’hiver 2013/2014 le trait de côte a reculé au niveau de ce qui était prévu pour 2040,
avec parfois la perte de 20 m de côte!”, ajoute-t-il.
Loïc Gouguet précise que pour les falaises varoises, l’érosion est moindre, de l’ordre du centimètre. Mais des
problèmes particuliers se posent du fait de l’urbanisation accrue de la bande côtière.
Pour sensibiliser à ces problématiques, Yvonne Battiau-Queney a choisi cette année d’emmener une cinquantaine
de décideurs – agents des collectivités territoriales, élus, associations – crapahuter dans les environs de Toulon,
armés de vêtements de pluie et de bottes en caoutchouc.
– Des techniques datant de Louis-Philippe –
Arrivés sur la plage de Monaco, dans la commune du Pradet (Var), chacun a découvert comment des gabions
d’acacia, c’est-à-dire des empilements de rondins, pouvaient être employés pour consolider le pieds de la falaise de
schiste, propice aux glissements de terrain, qui surplombe cette langue de sable de 800 mètres.
“Notre premier objectif, ici, c’est la sécurité”, explique Delphine Thibault, la directrice de l’environnement au
conseil général du Var, propriétaire des lieux, acquis dans le cadre de la préservation des espaces naturels
sensibles.
Or “il y avait un risque d’effondrement de la falaise”, poursuit-elle : et “c’est un espace naturel ouvert au public”.
Au début de l’année, la plage a donc été est sécurisée avec des filets anti-éboulement qui enserrent la falaise et
préviennent les glissements.
“Des techniques que l’on utilise depuis Louis-philippe” explique, Claude Guerin, le responsable du bureau d’études
Alpes-Maritimes/Var de l’ONF qui a assuré la maîtrise d’oeuvre du chantier.
Originalité: l’ONF a décidé d’expérimenter ici une intervention sur le modèle de celle que conduit habituellement
sa branche montagnarde, Restauration des terrains de montagne (RTM).
Et le technicien de détailler l’intervention: canalisation des eaux de ruissellement, fixation de la paroi,
végétalisation… Des remédiations relativement peu coûteuses, faciles à mettre en oeuvre et présentant une bonne
intégration paysagère, explique-t-il.
Moins chères, les “méthodes douces” présentent également l’avantage d’être adaptées au milieu vivant qu’est un
rivage maritime, souligne Yvonne Battiau-Queney.
Contrairement aux techniques lourdes comme les enrochements, largement utilisés dans le passé, qui ont parfois
des effets délétères, notamment des glissements de terrain.