Approximately 40% of the world’s population live in coastal regions and three quarters of the world’s large cities are located on the coast. As a result these environments tend to have the greatest concentration of infrastructure, activity, development, and even social awareness. Coastal science and engineering focuses on coastal developments (such as ports and coastal protection structures including breakwaters and groynes) and encompasses activities from surveying, construction and maintenance of coastal structures to integrated management of the coastal zone.
Coastal and nearshore infrastructure will affect oceanic processes and vice versa and engineering programmes require careful and intensive planning to understand the impact on local geology and oceanographic processes. All too often a lack of understanding of these at the planning stage creates conflict between natural process and coastal development. Such developments can be very intrusive on a local marine environment, introducing a variety of engineering challenges, but are becoming more and more necessary as global shipping trade and coastal erosion increases.
Additionally in recent years coastal environments have been subject to ever-increasing pressures from climate change including increased storms, coastal inundation and rising sea levels. Similarly, environmental legislation relating to international conservation designations also presents many challenges to coastal engineers.
This Special Interest Group will address priority engineering, science and technology concerns relating to resilience of the natural as well as the built environment, and serve as a forum for disseminating information on the challenges and latest solutions for sustainable management of coastal zones.
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