- Shore land area: The area from the average high tide line to the first provincial highway, coastal road, or mountain ridge;
- Offshore area: The area from the average high tide line to the 30-m isobath or three nautical miles towards the sea, whichever is longer, but not exceeding the territorial sea and its seabed and subsoil.
2. Definition of the Coastal Buffer Zone
- Definition from the perspectives of coastal dynamic systems and processes:
- Definition from the perspective of disaster prevention:
- Coastal protection zone:
- Aspect of land basin: area where coastal flooding may occur due to typhoons or storm surges;
- Aspect of ocean area: the farthest range of sediment drift induced by tidal currents.
- Coastal buffer zone:
- Aspect of land basin: the area that may be reached directly by seawater due to typhoons or storm surges, or that presents buffering factors to minimize the occurrence of disasters;
- Aspect of ocean area: the farthest range of sediment drift induced by nearshore currents, or the area that presents buffering factors to minimize the occurrence of disasters.
3. Recommendations for the Management and Administration of Coastal Buffer Zones
3.1. Aspect of Technology
- Natural impact factors:
- Geographical characteristics: Beaches, reef coasts, wetlands, lagoons and tide pools, sand dunes, algae fields, submerged reefs, headlands, bays, estuary bars, islands, and coastline shape (straight or curved);
- Hydrological characteristics: Groundwater level, river flow conditions, river channel shape, channel elevation, and estuary sediment transport;
- Ocean and meteorological characteristics: Waves, tides, tidal currents, nearshore currents, typhoons, storm surges, and coastal sediment transport;
- Biological characteristics: Aquatic species, intertidal species, and terrestrial species;
- Environmental factors: Water quality, pollutants, nutrients, suitable habitat flow, and stratum subsidence.
- Anthropogenic impact factors (the coastline is used as the partition):
- Artificial structures in the sea, such as artificial islands, artificial sneak reefs, and offshore embankments;
- Artificial structures on the coast, such as breakwaters, ports, reclaimed land, jetties, artificial headlands, groins, seawalls, revetments, diversion dikes, artificial beaches, and artificial wetlands;
- Artificial structures on the land, such as sand fences, sand fixers, windbreaks, disaster prevention drainage facilities, and other artificial structures (such as roads, houses, fishponds, and agricultural land) located in the coastal buffer zone.
- Numerical models such as the wind wave models (e.g., WAM, SWAN, STWAVE, TOMAWAC, and WWM), nearshore wave field models (based on the mild-slope equation or Boussinesq-type equation, among others), wave run-up models (e.g., see Mase  and De Waal and van der Meer ), and others [32,33] can simulate and predict the wave conditions of the coastal buffer zone;
- Numerical models such as the sea level rise models (e.g., see Dayan et al. ), tidal level and storm surge models (e.g., see Dube et al. , Kim et al. , and Muis et al. ), coastal overflow and flooding models (e.g., see Gallien et al.  and Xie et al. ) can predict the potential rise in sea level and the possible range of flooding in the coastal buffer zone;
- Numerical model such as the shoreline and topography change models for sea areas (e.g., GENESIS and SPEACH [43,44,45]), headland theory models (e.g., see Hsu and Evans , Weesakul et al. , and Li et al. ), estuary sediment transport model (e.g., see Pao et al. ), and wind sand models (e.g., see Lo Giudice and Preziosi ) can predict the potential movement of sediment and dune sand in the coastal buffer zone as well as the changes in shoreline and topography of sea and land areas;
- Numerical model such as the pollution diffusion models (e.g., see James ), salinity or temperature distribution models (e.g., see Larson et al.  and Pu et al. ), and groundwater seepage models (e.g., see Park, et al. ) can predict water quality based on the concentration and distribution of nutrients and pollutants in the coastal buffer zone;
- For large harbors, because the breakwater extends to the open sea beyond the offshore boundary of the coastal buffer zone, there is no offshore boundary line for the region. Thus, the delineation of the onshore boundary also follows this principle;
- In estuarine areas, the onshore boundary of the coastal buffer zone should preferably connect with the riparian buffer zone;
- Small islands are surrounded by sea on all sides, and the intensity of typhoon waves varies in different seaward directions. Therefore, the buffer zone for each coastal segment simulated by the hydrodynamic models will also be different. Thus, the offshore boundary of the coastal buffer zone of small islands should be set at the farthest water depth of sediment transportation as the unified boundary.
3.2. Aspects of Planning and Management
- Use of administrative districts as the division boundaries;
- Cooperation with the river catchment area as the zoning method;
- Division based on topographic attributes (e.g., sandy or rocky shore);
- Division based on natural attributes (e.g., natural or artificial coast);
- Division based on the purpose of use (e.g., development area, recreation area, protection area, or harbor);
- Division based on coastal conditions (e.g., stable, vulnerable, or protected section).
3.3. Aspect of Strategy
- Sound management regulations and mechanisms
- Coastal management information and environmental monitoring systems
- Principle of ecological compensation
- Environmental Funds
- In addition to charging directly for the known environmental damage, it also charges a certain amount of security for potential future environmental damage;
- To retain the promise of the pre-warning principle, the amount of this deposit depends on the expected value of the maximum decision-making bet (the worst result) estimated by the environmental experts of the public sector using the current best estimation techniques, and the deposit is “detained” and deposited in an escrow account with interest income.
- Sound coastal management organization and personnel training
- Emphasis on the conservation of coastal wetlands and natural coasts
Institutional Review Board Statement
Informed Consent Statement
Data Availability Statement
Conflicts of Interest
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|General Comparative Analysis|
|Item||Coastal Buffer Zone||Nature Reserve|
|Purpose and subject||Restoration of the coastal environment and maintenance of the natural coastal transition processes||Protection of precious natural resources|
|Design method||Theoretical basis: hydrodynamic theory||Comprehensive theoretical and legal bases|
|Scope||Strip or ring concept; general properties||Block distribution; special properties|
|Impact factors||Natural impact factors: geographical, hydrological, marine, meteorological, environmental, and biological characteristics|
Anthropogenic impact factors: artificial structures in the sea, on the coast, and on the land
|Coastal water flow, chemical composition, salinity, soluble gases, water temperature, sunshine, sedimentation, and pathogenic organisms|
|Management Project Comparative Analysis|
|Item||Coastal Buffer Zone||Nature Reserve|
|Management authority||Ocean Conservation Administration, Ocean Affairs Council §||Local government, Forestry Bureau, Council of Agriculture|
|Management project||Parallel “prevention” and “treatment” and early warning management, in addition to regulating matters occurring in the zone; any activities must be restricted if they are likely to affect other coastal areas||Prohibit or restrict certain items; only stipulate matters within the scope of protection (i.e., partial specification)|
|Management principle||Principles of public participation, zoning management, and early warning and establishment of information management and monitoring systems||Development of a permit system, environmental impact assessment, and concept of absoluteness|
|Management method||Active response||Passive response|
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