Sustainability of future coasts and estuaries: A synthesis

Sustainability of future coasts and estuaries: A synthesis


Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

Volume 183, Part B, Pages 271-452 (20 December 2016)

Sustainability of Future Coasts and Estuaries

Edited by Alice Newton, Jan Harff, Zai-Jin YOU, Hua Zhang and Eric Wolanski
Coasts are at the nexus of the Anthropocene, where land, marginal seas and atmosphere meet along a thin strip that is inhabited by nearly half the human population (Wolanski and Elliott, 2015). Coasts are often fringed by rich habitats such as mangroves, salt-marshes, inter-tidal mud and sand flats, seagrass meadows, kelp forests and coral reefs that provide a valuable range of ecosystem services to humans and to the adjacent marginal seas (Van den Belt and Costanza, 2011). It is the highly dynamic system that is constantly being reshaped by changing natural forces and anthropogenic activities. Coastal systems and human societies form coastal social-ecological systems that increasingly face multiple pressures, which threaten their ecological and economical sustainability. Common pressures include changes to land use and hydrology, land reclamation, coastal sand mining, harbour dredging, pollution and eutrophication, overexploitation such as overfishing, all in the context of climate change. During the 20th Century, coastal scientists studied the problems and issues arising along the coasts (Ramesh et al., 2015). Now, in the 21st Century, their focus must increasingly be about how to solve these problems and issues through better management and innovative approaches. To study these matters, two workshops were held in Yantai, P.R. China, in September 2015, hosted by the Yantai Institute of Coastal Zone Research, CAS. The outcome of these workshops is this special issue of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science.