Innovation award for project highlighting the huge value of existing natural flood protection features in Scotland
The Dynamic Coast project won the overall Spotlight Award at the Scottish Knowledge Exchange awards last month in Edinburgh. The award celebrates a partnership which has come together from a different business sector and academic discipline to provide an innovative solution to a challenge.
The CREW-funded project brought together many parts of the public sector and the University of Glasgow to revolutionise our understanding of past and anticipated changes to Scotland’s coast. The research team used over 1 million data points to summarise thousands of maps to track changes to our mobile shoreline over the last 130 years.
The research identified a 39% increase in extent of erosion and a doubling of the average rate of erosion to 1 m/yr, both consistent with expectations of climate change. Critically, the work also highlighted that £13bn of coastal assets are protected by natural defences (beaches, dunes and marshes), far more than the £5bn of assets protected by engineered defences. The recognition of existing NFM features is essential as we consider options for future management. The recent coastal changes since the 1970s have been projected forward to consider which assets are at risk from erosion by 2050. The maps are available online at www.DynamicCoast.com, and have received over 13,000 hits from over 80 countries around the world.
The research is on-going and is exploring the increasing effects of climate change and erosion enhanced flooding for the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage, Scottish Environment Protection Authority, Historic Environment Scotland, Crown Estate Scotland, Adaptation Scotland and Scottish Local Authorities.