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Coastal Risk Management Strategy for European coasts: One size does not fit all
Research supported by the European Commission continuously highlights that many areas of Eu-rope’s coastline face serious problems. Numerous research projects in the EU alone have been car-ried out on coastal hazard zones investigating storm surges, erosion and others. They have provided data and scenarios, and presented possible strategies to meet these challenges.
Fotalia (c) SakhanPhotography
In the in April 2017 completed FP-7 project RISC-KIT, Ecologic Institute and partners aimed to sup-port closing this gap while promoting policy-informed research helping to feed historical and socio-cultural contextuality into political processes of risk management decisions in coastal regions.
Europe’s coastlines are a product of human cultivation leading to its ultimate settlement and resulted in engineering its characteristics to suit purposes of states, economy, and human re-creation. Over the last century the trust in technical intelligence and engineering capacities led towards new bold attitudes about building and living at the sea often interfering with the natural sediment transport of coastal systems and thus supporting erosion at many coasts in Europe. In addition, rapid coastal urbanization, mass tourism, maritime transportation and agricultural production cause serious pollution problems while high demands on the maritime resources result in the over-exploitation of fish stocks. These problems are further accelerated by climate change causing sea levels rise and increase in high-impact hydro-meteorological events. For instance, recent and historic high-impact storm events have demonstrated the vulnerability of coastal zones in Europe. Among these events are the 2010 Xynthia storm in France, the 2013 Xavier/St. Nicholas storm in North-West Europe and the 2014 St. Agatha storm in the Adriatic as well as historic event such as the 1953 Flood in Northwest Europe, 1962 Floods in Hamburg and the 1872 flood in Kiel Fjord, and even older events. Coastal vulnerability is likely to increase due to two effects: due to predicted climate change the hazards of sea level rise and coastal flooding may increase, and due to on-going coastal devel-opment the impact (or consequences) will increase.
|This project is supported by the European Commission under the Environment (including climate change) Theme of the 7th Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development. This Website only reflects the views of the authors(s), and the European Union cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.|