Nicole Elko, Ph.D., and Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Ph.D., 2020. “National coastal management challenges and needs”, Shore & Beach, 88(4), 34-43
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National coastal management challenges and needs
Nicole Elko, Ph.D.(1) and Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Ph.D.(2)
1) Science Director, American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, firstname.lastname@example.org,
P.O. Box 1451, Folly Beach, SC 29439
2) Assistant Professor, Florida Atlantic University, Department of Geosciences,
777 Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33431
In partnership with the U.S. Geological Survey Coastal and Marine Hazards and Resources Program (USGS CMHRP) and the U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP), the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) has identified coastal stakeholders’ top coastal management challenges. Informed by two annual surveys, a multiple-choice online poll was conducted in 2019 to evaluate stakeholders’ most pressing problems and needs, including those they felt most ill-equipped to deal with in their day-to-day duties and which tools they most need to address these challenges. The survey also explored where users find technical information and what is missing. From these results, USGS CMHRP, USCRP, ASBPA, and other partners aim to identify research needs that will inform appropriate investments in useful science, tools, and resources to address today’s most pressing coastal challenges. The 15-question survey yielded 134 complete responses with an 80% completion rate from coastal stakeholders such as local community representatives and their industry consultants, state and federal agency representatives, and academics. Respondents from the East, Gulf, West, and Great Lakes coasts, as well as Alaska and Hawaii, were represented. Overall, the prioritized coastal management challenges identified by the survey were:
A careful, systematic, and interdisciplinary approach should direct efforts to identify specific research needed to tackle these challenges. A notable shift in priorities from erosion to water-related challenges was recorded from respondents with organizations initially formed for beachfront management. In addition, affiliation-specific and regional responses varied, such as Floridians concern more with harmful algal blooms than any other human and ecosystem health related challenge. The most common need for additional coastal management tools and strategies related to adaptive coastal management to maintain community resilience and continuous storm barriers (dunes, structures), as the top long-term and extreme event needs, respectively. In response to questions about missing information that agencies can provide, respondents frequently mentioned up-to-date data on coastal systems and solutions to challenges as more important than additional tools.