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  • Writer's pictureSam King

The Power of Adaptation: Nature-Based Solutions in Addressing Climate Change

Updated: Mar 27

International Coastal Management has always believed in the ability to adapt. We have implemented nature-based solutions (NBS) in our coastal engineering initiatives in response to the escalating challenges posed by climate change.

As a global leader in NBS, we understand that adaptation is about more than merely surviving; it is about flourishing. In this post, we'll discuss NBS's crucial role in climate change adaptation and highlight one of our pioneering initiatives.

Climate change is one of the most pressing societal challenges of our time, with coastal areas bearing the brunt of its impacts. Sea-level rise, increased storm intensity, and changing precipitation patterns pose threats to coastal communities and ecosystems. To address these issues, adaptation measures are crucial.

The NBS approach to climate change adaptation is sustainable and provides multiple benefits. In addition to enhancing coastal resilience against the effects of climate change, they enhance biodiversity, enhance water quality, and provide recreational spaces.

Mimicking and Replicating Natural Coastal Elements

In response to climate change, mimicking naturally occurring coastal elements has become a crucial component of International Coastal Management's coastal engineering initiatives. By replicating the functionalities of natural elements such as headlands, reefs, and dune systems, we are able to construct dynamic, storm-resistant coastlines for the future.

For example, artificial headlands are crucial for shoreline stabilisation, regulating longshore drift and mitigating the effects of wave energy. Similarly, artificial reefs serve as vital barriers against wave erosion while concurrently promoting marine biodiversity through the provision of new habitats.

Moreover, engineered dune systems mimic their natural counterparts in protecting against coastal erosion and flooding, while simultaneously nurturing a variety of plant and animal species. By recreating these natural shoreline responses, we ensure that our coastal interventions not only protect human communities, but also function in harmony with the surrounding ecosystems, fostering a relationship that is mutually beneficial for humans and nature.

Recreating Sand Deprived Storm Bars with Nearshore Nourishment

Moreover, another essential strategy is nearshore nourishment. This entails the placement of a large quantity of sand in the shoreline's active zone. This strategy attempts to imitate the formation of offshore storm bars during times of increased wave activity.

These storm bars are nature's first line of defence against coastal erosion during storms, as they absorb wave energy and lessen their impact on the coastline. By emulating this natural process, nearshore sustenance provides an effective and long-lasting method for shoreline stabilisation.

In addition, the newly created littoral environments can also provide improved surf conditions for seasonal benefits. Thus, this approach exemplifies the ethos of International Coasts Management - the development of robust climate adaptation measures that function in harmony with nature rather than in opposition to it to best serve the environmental and local populations.

A great example of this working is on the Gold Coast where International Coastal Management has played an integral part of the nearshore nourishment campaigns for the last few decades.

Get in contact, today!

As an industry leader in NBS, International Coastal Management is at the vanguard of climate change adaptation innovations. We believe that by designing and implementing NBS with care, we can protect our coastlines and build resilient communities.

Are you curious about how nature-based solutions can benefit your community or initiative in response to climate change? For additional information, please visit our website or get in touch with us directly.

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