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ICZM / Infrastructure
|The notion infrastructure has
various connotations. It refers to physical elements such
as roads, bridges, sea walls, groynes or breakwaters,
but also to the institutional infrastructure ("arrangements").
Due to their impact on the natural system and their cost,
coastal structures are normally an important element in
coastal zone management studies. Depending on their effect
on the coastal system, the following three categories
of coastal structures may be identified:
- Sacrificial structures, often consisting of natural
materials such as sand and gravel. They are used as
a buffer to protect coastal areas from erosion. Examples
of such structures are artificial dunes, artificial
shoals and sand nourishment or beach nourishment.
These structures least interfere with the natural
processes or may even take part in it.
- Defensive structures, which are made of more resistant
materials such as clay and rock or artificial elements
like concrete. They are used to consolidate the present
position of the coastline and to protect it in the
event of extreme waves and tides. Examples are dikes
and dune revetments. These structures normally do
not interfere with natural processes, until an extreme
condition occurs. In that case, its protective function
is activated and it starts to affect the coastal processes.
- Offensive structures are designed to actively affect
the coastal processes, in order to improve conditions
for any or all of the coastal activities. They are,
therefore, constructed of artificial materials which
can withstand the forces of nature. Examples are break-waters
and groynes. Obviously, this type of structure has
a large impact on the coastal system.
A "sacrificial structure": a beach nourishment, Texel,
Bulgarian case study: coastal protection using hard rock measures
Shabla municipality took the conscious decision to compromise part of its coastal landscape in favour of hard rock measures to protect the coast from severe annual erosion. Various structures were built to safeguard the coastline and ensure the livelihoods of the local communities. The measures proved effective to ‘’hold the line’’ and the increased safety has allowed other economic activities to develop e.g. eco-tourism.
For Cape Shabla, a comprehensive, coastal protection, urban plan together with a construction project was ordered by the municipality for the villages including the facilities and a small port (used by both fishermen and recreational yachts) and the necessary infrastructure. To the north of Shabla, this consisted of a rocky embankment protection dyke (200m long), a low jetty (40m long), a high pier (110m long), a concrete wall (105m long) and a berth (125m long). To the south of Shabla, the construction works consisted of a rocky embankment protection dyke (250m long). The fishermen’s village now has berths for 113 boats, 44 yachts and 6 motorised cutters for local tourism trips.
The protection measures have been effective and the erosion process has stopped. The main goals have, therefore, been achieved viz. the losses of the shoreline have stopped, the risks to the population and the capital investments have decreased and the interests of the local community have been adequately protected.
For an effective coastal zone management environment,
a control system is required which formulates the objectives
of coastal zone management, monitors the developments
and which takes appropriate long term and short term actions
when needed. Basically, following four elements can be
identified in this respect:
Due to different historic developments, different social
and administrative cultures and different financial conditions,
each country has developed a different control system.
As the efficiency of the control system is of vital importance
for the success of coastal zone management, its particular
characteristics and responsibilities should be acknowledged
by the coastal manager.
- the political system, which defines the long term
objectives of coastal zone management and the criteria
which should be applied for the analysis of various
- the legislative system, the total of the governing
international conventions, national laws and regional/local
regulations to enforce this policy
- the financial system, which provides the necessary
- the executive system, which defines the scope of
responsibilities for all activities related to coastal
Coastal protection measures in the southern Black Sea coast - Romania
The Romanian Black Sea coast is facing long term shoreline erosion problems. Since the 1980s, the southern part of the Romanian coast, where the most economic and social activities are located, is threatened by a steady increase of erosion phenomena which has caused severe damage in terms of beach losses, tourism and recreation facilities and public safety. Since 2005, coastal protection became a priority for the Romanian government. Taking into account the serious threat of coastal erosion, the government requested support from the Japanese Government. Through its Agency JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), Romania received international technical assistance and financial support to develop a comprehensive study for coastal protection and rehabilitation of the southern part of the Romanian Black Sea coastal area. The main outcome of the study was the Master Plan for coastal protection delivered at the end of 2007. The protection coastal measures identified in the Master Plan for the two priority areas were mainly directed towards hard protection such as breakwaters and groynes and to a lesser degree by soft protection such as artificial reefs and artificial sand nourishments. In addition, maintenance of the existing hard structure or removal of the inadequate and non-effective old structures were also considered as necessary coastal works.
An assessment of the coastal protection measures in terms of estimated costs for operation, maintenance and a management plan, legal and institutional framework, was carried out by the Romanian institutions. A Strategic Environmental Assessmenthas been applied for the Master Plan and its outcomes paving the way for a Strategic Plan for coastal protection. Also an EIA and public debate of the two priority projects were conducted.
Coastal erosion – Mamaia Beach – Romania (photo Claudia Coman)