ICCE 2022

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UNDERSTANDING THE BENEFITS AND LIMITATIONS OF COASTAL NBS. (2023). Coastal Engineering Proceedings, 37, papers.69. https://doi.org/10.9753/icce.v37.papers.69


As Coastal NBS are implemented more widely it is important to be clear in our definition of NBS and understand the benefits and limitations of the various approaches. Coastal NBS involve using natural features to offer, or improve, coastal protection while producing additional economic, environmental and social benefits. There are, however, a broad range of solutions spanning the creation of large expanses of habitats, hybrids of habitats and harder engineered structures and ecological enhancements of existing infrastructure. Costs and performance therefore vary widely and not all NBS are low cost or self-maintaining. In many instances the capacity for sedimentary habitats to self-maintain will depend on sediment availability and this emphasizes the need to consider whole life costs when comparing NBS with more traditional harder defences. The incorporation of habitat components can however bring multiple benefits for both nature and people. Implemented correctly, Coastal NBS therefore have the potential to be ‘no regret’ solutions in many locations.


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