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Mangroves for Coastal Resilience: Optimal Green Belt Width and Restoration Methods

Author(s): Bregje K. Van Wesenbeeck, Alejandra Gijón Mancheño, Celine Van Bijsterveldt, Silke A. J. Tas, Merijn Janssen, J. C. Winterwerp

Linked Author(s): Bregje Van Wesenbeeck

Keywords: Mangroves, flood risk reduction, wave attenuation, restoration, green belt width

Abstract: Mangroves are receiving massive attention for their ability to mitigate coastal flood risk. However, these protective properties are hardly ever included in coastal protection schemes and engineering designs by coastal managers and engineers. This may be due to a lack of standardized design values and management methods. Here, we review the state-of-the-art for design, construction and management of mangroves for their coastal protection benefits. We evaluate and combine knowledge on their wave attenuation properties and on their ecology to make recommendations on desirable mangrove widths. We also give an overview of possible methods for restoration and management of mangroves and although multiple methods are available, most projects revert to mangrove planting which is often done in unsuitable places with unsuitable species. It seems that restoration of mangroves on the ground is mostly approached from a forestry perspective and does not make use of principles of available knowledge on ecological restoration. As a consequence, mangrove restoration efforts have very low success rates. We conclude that the width of mangrove forests for coastal protection purposes and their restoration and protection needs to be strongly informed by both physical and ecological knowledge for creation of effective and resilient mangrove green belts


Year: 2017

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