This week over 300 coastal engineers, planners and scientists from around the world are meeting in Auckland for the Australasian Coasts & Ports 2015 (15 – 18 September) conference.
The theme of the conference is Environomics – in recognition of the need to balance protecting the coastal environment with supporting economic growth.
Dr Todd Bridges, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Senior Research Scientist and Lead for the Engineering with Nature program, opened the conference with a discussion on how nature-based coastal engineering solutions are being used across the US.
“Using coastal engineering solutions that work with nature means moving away from the idea of ‘holding the line’ to instead managing the evolution of our coastal systems. The projects we’re involved in suggest this is a better long-term approach, and these solutions can be more effective and cost efficient.”
He said that this approach is complex, however, and requires working with local communities and property owners.
Conference Chair Richard Reinem-Hamill said that the presentations at this year’s conference reflect the growing need to plan and address the consequences of climate change in innovative ways.
Over the three-day conference presenters from Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Pacific Island nations and the US will share their knowledge and experiences on issues ranging from planning for coastal storm inundation and sea-level rise, to lessons learned from the Tohoku Earthquake and Tsunami, to modelling coastal erosion hazards, to adapting to climate change in the design and construction of ports, bridges and roads.