IADC: Facts About Coastal Protection

The International Association of Dredging Contractors (IADC) has released its ‘Facts About’ publication on Coastal Protection.

‘Facts About’ is a series of concise, easy-to-read leaflets which give an effective overview of essential facts about specific dredging and maritime construction subjects.

Each leaflet provides a kind of ‘management summary’ for stakeholders who need a quick understanding of a particular issue.

Coastal protection spans interventions, structures and measures protecting coastal areas and their inhabitants against flooding, a need amplified by urbanization and development to handle global population growth combined with the effects of climate change.

“Coastal protection may be ensured through natural or man-made systems, or a combination of both. Available techniques which can be implemented fall into two categories: hard strategies and soft strategies,” said IADC in the publication.

A report by the United Nations predicts the world’s population living in urban areas will increase by over two billion people by 2050.

The largest share of city dwellers will live in vulnerable coastal floodplains and half of the world’s population is projected to be living within 100 kilometers of a coast.

Climate change contributes to the observed trend of increased storm intensity and many coastal zones around the globe are already exposed to tsunami risks. The destructive capacity of such natural events has been witnessed, especially with hurricanes such as Katrina in 2005 and Harvey in 2017 as well as the tsunamis in Indonesia in 2004 and Fukushima in 2011.

Soil subsidence of inhabited coastal floodplains is also occurring in many locations. All these trends combined demonstrate the need for sustainable and resilient flood protection measures.