Workshop findings: sustainability challenges for northeastern urban coasts

Workshop findings: sustainability challenges for northeastern urban coasts

A report of the Sustainable Urban Coasts in the Urban Northeast workshop, hosted in October 2014 at Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey, was published online by Local Environment.

The workshop served to promote sharing of ideas for enhancing coastal, ecological, and social resilience in the face of potential disasters similar to the impacts of hurricane Sandy. Sustainable shoreline practitioners and researchers from local and federal government, academia, private sector, and non-governmental organizations in the northeast participated in the workshop.

Workshop participants identified ecosystem services, as well as unique opportunities in which urbanized coastal areas could enhance and support them. These opportunities include improving regulation in support of ecosystem services, assessing the value of coastal ecosystem services, and increasing awareness about the importance of coastal ecosystems.

Participants also acknowledged that the largest challenge for ecosystem services is funding for large, long-term infrastructure projects. For example, while funds for recovery after hurricane Sandy help shoreline strategies, funding of this kind is generally difficult to secure for projects with long term operation, maintenance, and monitoring costs.

The workshop also included discussions to identify gaps in knowledge and challenges that limit planning for urban coastal sustainability and enhanced ecosystem services. Most of the discussions focused on limited understanding of urban systems and integration of multiple types of data. Also, most participants said that collaboration and communication among scientists and practitioners is essential.

Read the full report of the workshop:






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