Coastal Restoration Trust of New Zealand

Coastal Dune Ecosystem Reference Database

Application of climate change adaptation, resilience, and beach management strategies on coral islands Conference Paper

Mead, S.; Borrero, J.; Phillips, D.; Atkin, E.
Journal / Source
Australasian Coasts & Ports Conference 2015: 22nd Australasian Coastal and Ocean Engineering Conference and the 15th Australasian Port and Harbour Conference
Publisher / Organisation
Auckland, New Zealand: Engineers Australia and IPENZ
climate change, coastal erosion mitigation strategies, coral islands, coastal engineering, environmental remediation, coral reef ecology, beach erosion
Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate change, climate variability and sea level rise. For many island nations, the very existence of some low-lying islands and their associated communities are threatened. International aid funds are now being applied to the development of climate change adaptation and resilience measures on coral islands worldwide. In many areas, identification of vulnerable sites and planning has been completed and climate change adaptation and resilience measures are being implemented. These measures are often directed at ‘buying time’ to develop long-term relocation strategies. However, the coastal processes on coral sand beaches and coasts are significantly different to temperate coasts. There is comparatively little information available that considers the design and application of coastal structures and the associated components of coastal climate change adaptation and resilience measures for coral beaches. Additional challenges include isolation and the lack of suitable equipment and materials with which to implement climate change resilience and adaptation strategies. This paper presents the investigations, detailed designs and implementation of climate change adaptation and resilience measures in Tonga, the Marshall Islands and Mauritius, as well as the development and application of beach management strategies in other parts of the Pacific Islands. There is a common theme between the development of climate change adaptation and resilience measures and beach management strategies for these coral sand beaches with respect to coastal processes and the physical and biological components that produce and transport sand in these systems. Coupling of physical/biological and social/terrestrial/coastal factors is an important consideration for the successful application of coastal strategies on coral sand beaches. The measures that are being applied to the different sites, in order to work with their site specific variables, are detailed.