Estuaries and Coasts

, Volume 42, Issue 7, pp 1695–1708 | Cite as

The Incorporation of Biophysical and Social Components in Coastal Management

  • Rodolfo Silva
  • Valeria ChávezEmail author
  • Tjeerd J. Bouma
  • Brigitta I. van Tussenbroek
  • Katie K. Arkema
  • M. Luisa Martínez
  • Hocine Oumeraci
  • Johanna J. Heymans
  • Andrés F. Osorio
  • Edgar Mendoza
  • Malva Mancuso
  • Milton Asmus
  • Pedro Pereira
Special Issue: Integrating Ecosystems and Coastal Engineering Practice


Change is inherent in coastal systems, which are amongst the most dynamic ones on Earth. Increasing anthropogenic pressure on coastal zones interferes with natural coastal dynamics and can cause ecosystem imbalances that render the zones less stable. Furthermore, human occupation of coastal zones often requires an uncharacteristic degree of stability for these inherently dynamic coastal systems. Coastal management teams face multifaceted challenges in protecting, rehabilitating and conserving coastal systems. Diverse monitoring schemes and modelling tools have been developed to address these challenges. In this article, we explore various perspectives: the integration of biophysical, ecological and social components; the uncertainties of diverse data sources; and the development of flexible coastal interventions. We propose general criteria and guidance for an Ecosystem-based Management (EbM) to coastal management, which aims primarily at adaptation to global change and uncertainties, and to managing and integrating social aspects and biophysical components based on the flows of energy and matter.


Coastal processes Ecosystem-based adaption Ecosystem-based approach Green infrastructure Ecosystem dynamics Community-based adaptation Coastal management 



The authors are grateful to the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD), Excellence Center for Development Cooperation, Sustainable Water Management (EXCEED/SWINDON) and Technical University of Braunschweig (TUBS) for their financial and technical support, enabling participation in the Summer School: Integrating Ecosystems in Coastal Engineering Practice (INECEP).


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Copyright information

© Coastal and Estuarine Research Federation 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rodolfo Silva
    • 1
  • Valeria Chávez
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tjeerd J. Bouma
    • 2
  • Brigitta I. van Tussenbroek
    • 3
  • Katie K. Arkema
    • 4
    • 5
  • M. Luisa Martínez
    • 6
  • Hocine Oumeraci
    • 7
  • Johanna J. Heymans
    • 8
    • 9
  • Andrés F. Osorio
    • 10
  • Edgar Mendoza
    • 1
  • Malva Mancuso
    • 11
  • Milton Asmus
    • 12
  • Pedro Pereira
    • 13
  1. 1.CEMIE-Océano, Instituto de IngenieríaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoCiudad de MéxicoMexico
  2. 2.Department of Estuarine and Delta SystemsRoyal Netherlands Institute for Sea Research and Utrecht UniversityYersekeThe Netherlands
  3. 3.Unidad Académica de Sistemas Arrecifales, Instituto de Ciencias del Mar y LimnologíaUniversidad Nacional Autónoma de MéxicoPuerto MorelosMexico
  4. 4.Natural Capital ProjectStanford UniversityStanfordUSA
  5. 5.School of Environmental and Forest SciencesUniversity of WashingtonSeattleUSA
  6. 6.Red de Ecología FuncionalInstituto de Ecología, A. C.XalapaMexico
  7. 7.Leichtweiß-Institut für Wasserbau, Abt. Hydromechanik and KüsteningenieurwesenTechnische Universität BraunschweigBraunschweigGermany
  8. 8.Scottish Association for Marine ScienceScottish Marine InstituteObanUK
  9. 9.European Marine BoardOostendeBelgium
  10. 10.Grupo de investigación OCEANICOS, Departamento de Geociencias y Medio Ambiente, Facultad de MinasUniversidad Nacional de ColombiaMedellínColombia
  11. 11.Engineering and Environmental Technology DepartmentFederal University of Santa MariaFrederico WestphalenBrazil
  12. 12.Institute of OceanographyFederal University of Rio Grande (FURG)Rio GrandeBrazil
  13. 13.Coastal Oceanography Laboratory, Department of OceanographyFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianopolisBrazil

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