Urbanization of Coastal and Shelf Seas | POGO

Urbanization of Coastal and Shelf Seas

Prof Karen Wiltshire, POGO Chair and Deputy Director of Alfred Wegener Institute for Polar and Marine Research, recently presented a conference paper on the topic of 'Urbanization of Coastal and Shelf Seas' at COME 2017 (Conference on Maritime Energy - Decommissioning of Offshore Geotechnical Structures).



Increasing pressure on and utilization of coastal and shelf seas in combination with global issues such as those related to climate change presents as a serious challenge to the management of future oceans. Associated challenges include sea level rise and safety of equity, healthy aquaculture, high-level tourism, transport/shipping and sustainable ecosystems. In this paper the global complexity and extent of human use of coastal seas is illuminated and the urgent need globally for new terms of coordinative management highlighted. The term urbanization in the context of the human expansion into coastal and shelf seas is introduced. On a world-wide basis five major direct human usages/interests in coastal and shelf seas which are identified in terms of urbanization are: Fisheries and aquaculture, artificial structures and coastal armouring and transport and anthropogenic pollutants and tourism. It is shown that Urbanization of the sea is a given. Future human health, economies and industry are dependent on the integrity and function of coastal and shelf seas. We urgently need scientific research into new marine “ecostructures” and engineering for sustainable marine infrastructures. We need to implement new technologies and stations for observing and monitoring our coastal systems. We need to manage and plan human requirements. We need to accept the urbanization of the seas and oceans as a fact. Humans need this space. Only this acceptance will allow us take on this major challenge as policy makers and coastal sea managers order to deal with it wisely and in a holistic integrative manner.


The full paper can be accessed and downloaded here: http://epic.awi.de/45399/

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