Innovation in coastal governance: management and expectations of the UK’s first sandscaping scheme

Lorenzoni, Irene, Day, Sophie A. ORCID:, Mahony, Martin ORCID:, Tolhurst, Trevor J. ORCID: and Bark, Rosalind H. ORCID: (2024) Innovation in coastal governance: management and expectations of the UK’s first sandscaping scheme. Regional Environmental Change, 24 (3). ISSN 1436-3798

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Many coastal places around the UK face change, with impacts on communities, livelihoods, and landscapes. A tidal surge in 2013 caused significant erosion and flooding on the east coast of England (UK). This was the catalyst for the innovative Bacton to Walcott Coastal Management Scheme, also known as the Sandscaping Scheme, implemented in summer 2019. It is a one-off, large-scale beach nourishment scheme with a design prediction of 15–20 years functional life, the first of its kind in the UK and worldwide outside of the Netherlands. Through stakeholder interviews and a household questionnaire survey, this paper examines the institutional and political challenges, expectations, and hopes associated with this Scheme just before its implementation. The findings indicate that a combination of factors enabled technical and institutional experimentation and innovation at this location: critical erosion risk at a site of strategic infrastructure adjacent to two highly vulnerable villages, extensive stakeholder collaboration across scales, resolute leadership, and recognition of co-benefits. Although most interviewees and local residents foresaw significant benefit from the Scheme—not least respite from the deep anxiety caused by the threat of flooding and erosion risk—tensions were expressed around uncertainty beyond the Scheme’s lifetime and the need to start effective conversations about future adaptation options for the area. This study provides reflections for similar nature-based coastal management schemes elsewhere. It highlights the fundamental challenges facing the governance of natural and social coastal systems for adapting to current and future coastal change and the importance of articulating local and sometimes intangible understandings and expectations of adaptive coastal management interventions.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Funding information: This study was funded and supported by the School of Environmental Sciences at the University of East Anglia.
Uncontrolled Keywords: adaptation,expectations,innovation,large-scale beach nourishment,nature-based solutions,sandscaping,global and planetary change,sdg 14 - life below water ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/2300/2306
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Science > School of Environmental Sciences
University of East Anglia Research Groups/Centres > Theme - ClimateUEA
UEA Research Groups: Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Marine Knowledge Exchange Network
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Collaborative Centre for Sustainable Use of the Seas
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Science, Society and Sustainability
Faculty of Science > Research Groups > Environmental Social Sciences
University of East Anglia Schools > Faculty of Science > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
Faculty of Science > Research Centres > Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 03 Jul 2024 08:32
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2024 08:31
DOI: 10.1007/s10113-024-02248-x


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