Managing coastal erosion: from long-term coastal evolution to seasonal shoreline changes

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Authors: Esteves, L.S., Teixeira, P. and Williams, J.J.

Journal: IAHS-AISH Publication

Issue: 325

Pages: 516-523

ISSN: 0144-7815

Erosion problems along the southern Brazilian coast are evaluated, taking into account the complex interactions of long- and short-term natural processes and socio-economic factors. Coastal evolution during the Holocene are considered, together with shoreline changes in the shorter term, to measure magnitudes of changes relevant to coastal management (using aerial photographs, DGPS mapping and beach profiles). This study focuses on specific sites to illustrate the importance of integrating processes acting at different spatial and temporal scales to define the best management practice to deal with coastal erosion. One of the case studies is the area of Hermenegildo, a small beach village built on top of the dunes, in a flat, low-lying coastal plain. The settlement is experiencing long-term coastal retreat and often is threatened by erosion during storms. As the local government does not have a policy to regulate construction of coastal defences, the Hermenegildo coastline is protected by a range of amateur schemes initiated by individual property owners. Due to a public action filed in 2005, the local government now is obliged by law to map and deal with illegal occupation in dune areas (which are protected by the Federal Constitution), and to establish a plan of coastal uses and regulations. Based on the available data, potential management approaches are evaluated in terms of long-term sustainability, and economic and technical viability. © 2008 IAHS Press.

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