Special Issue "Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability"

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Sustainable Use of the Environment and Resources".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2018).

Special Issue Editors

Assist. Prof. Dr. Steven Scyphers
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Marine and Environmental Sciences, Northeastern University, Marine Science Center, Nahant, MA 01908, USA
Interests: social-ecological systems; sustainability science; coastal development; fisheries; conservation
Prof. Dr. Michael W. Beck
E-Mail Website
Co-Guest Editor
1. The Nature Conservancy, Arlington, VA 22203-1606, USA
2. Department of Ocean Sciences, Long Marine Lab, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, USA

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Coastal restoration is a widely popular strategy for improving the health of ecosystems and mitigating the impacts of previous human decisions. However, in addition to re-establishing habitats and the improving the functioning of ecosystems, restoration also provides many direct and indirect benefits for people in coastal communities and beyond. For example, coastal habitat restoration has been shown to enhance fisheries and tourism opportunities in coastal communities. Considering that restoration is often costly and requires substantial public and private support, understanding the social and ecological contexts of successful restoration is essential for sustainability and sustainable development along coastlines.

This Special Issue focuses on recent advances in the interdisciplinary science and practice of coastal restoration for pursuing sustainability. We welcome conceptual, empirical, and synthetic studies focused on the social and ecological dimensions of coastal restoration, and we are particularly eager to receive papers that embrace a social-ecological systems perspective to inform the design and execution of successful restoration. Such studies could involve: (i) describing social and ecological conditions that enable or constrain restoration support; (ii) developing strategies and frameworks for effectively measuring social and ecological outcomes of coastal restoration; (iii) defining social and ecological restoration success from rural to urban settings; and (iv) contextualizing role of restoration as a strategy for sustainable development along coastlines.

Prof. Steven Scyphers
Prof. Dr. Michael W. Beck
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Restoration
  • Social-ecological systems
  • Ecosystem services
  • Living shorelines
  • Human well-being

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Open AccessArticle
Coral Reef Socio-Ecological Systems Analysis & Restoration
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4490; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124490 - 29 Nov 2018
Cited by 1
Abstract
Restoration strategies for coral reefs are usually focused on the recovery of bio-physical characteristics. They seldom include an evaluation of the recovery of the socio-ecological and ecosystem services features of coral reef systems. This paper proposes a conceptual framework to address both the [...] Read more.
Restoration strategies for coral reefs are usually focused on the recovery of bio-physical characteristics. They seldom include an evaluation of the recovery of the socio-ecological and ecosystem services features of coral reef systems. This paper proposes a conceptual framework to address both the socio-ecological system features of coral reefs with the implementation of restoration activity for degraded coral reefs. Such a framework can lead to better societal outcomes from restoration activities while restoring bio-physical, social and ecosystem service features of such systems. We first developed a Socio Ecological System Analysis Framework, which combines the Ostrom Framework for analyzing socio-ecological systems and the Kittinger et al. human dimensions framework of coral reefs socio-ecological systems. We then constructed a Restoration of Coral Reef Framework, based on the most used and recent available coral reef restoration literature. These two frameworks were combined to present a Socio-Ecological Systems & Restoration Coral Reef Framework. These three frameworks can be used as a guide for managers, researchers and decision makers to analyze the needs of coral reef restoration in a way that addresses both socio-economic and ecological objectives to analyze, design, implement and monitor reef restoration programs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Pathways to Coastal Resiliency: The Adaptive Gradients Framework
Sustainability 2018, 10(8), 2629; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10082629 - 26 Jul 2018
Cited by 2
Abstract
Current and future climate-related coastal impacts such as catastrophic and repetitive flooding, hurricane intensity, and sea level rise necessitate a new approach to developing and managing coastal infrastructure. Traditional “hard” or “grey” engineering solutions are proving both expensive and inflexible in the face [...] Read more.
Current and future climate-related coastal impacts such as catastrophic and repetitive flooding, hurricane intensity, and sea level rise necessitate a new approach to developing and managing coastal infrastructure. Traditional “hard” or “grey” engineering solutions are proving both expensive and inflexible in the face of a rapidly changing coastal environment. Hybrid solutions that incorporate natural, nature-based, structural, and non-structural features may better achieve a broad set of goals such as ecological enhancement, long-term adaptation, and social benefits, but broad consideration and uptake of these approaches has been slow. One barrier to the widespread implementation of hybrid solutions is the lack of a relatively quick but holistic evaluation framework that places these broader environmental and societal goals on equal footing with the more traditional goal of exposure reduction. To respond to this need, the Adaptive Gradients Framework was developed and pilot-tested as a qualitative, flexible, and collaborative process guide for organizations to understand, evaluate, and potentially select more diverse kinds of infrastructural responses. These responses would ideally include natural, nature-based, and regulatory/cultural approaches, as well as hybrid designs combining multiple approaches. It enables rapid expert review of project designs based on eight metrics called “gradients”, which include exposure reduction, cost efficiency, institutional capacity, ecological enhancement, adaptation over time, greenhouse gas reduction, participatory process, and social benefits. The framework was conceptualized and developed in three phases: relevant factors and barriers were collected from practitioners and experts by survey; these factors were ranked by importance and used to develop the initial framework; several case studies were iteratively evaluated using this technique; and the framework was finalized for implementation. The article presents the framework and a pilot test of its application, along with resources that would enable wider application of the framework by practitioners and theorists. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Considerations of Large River Sanctuaries: A Case Study from the Hilsa Shad Fishery in Bangladesh
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1254; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041254 - 19 Apr 2018
Cited by 4
Abstract
The establishment of a sanctuary is often suggested as an effective strategy for ecological restoration, though social aspects of such attempts are often overlooked. This study analyzed the socioeconomic status of 248 fishing households who are dependent on hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha [...] Read more.
The establishment of a sanctuary is often suggested as an effective strategy for ecological restoration, though social aspects of such attempts are often overlooked. This study analyzed the socioeconomic status of 248 fishing households who are dependent on hilsa shad (Tenualosa ilisha) sanctuaries in southern Bangladesh. Also, the fishers’ perceptions were investigated to assess the status of ecological restoration, level of participation in the hilsa sanctuary management, their livelihoods constraints, and coping strategies during crises. Based on the fishers’ perceptions and fishery catch data of the government, it appears that the establishment of the hilsa sanctuary in the Bangladesh waters helped to restore the hilsa fishery and also enhanced the fishers’ income. However, a large section of hilsa fishers were found to be poor in terms of socioeconomic capital such as monthly income, housing conditions, and assets ownership. Particularly, these households suffer seasonal food insecurity during the banned period of fishing in the sanctuaries. The government’s compensation scheme is a good example of payment of ecosystem services in an open water fishery; however, this scheme does not include all the affected fishers. Food and income insecurity during ban period often force fishers to use illegal fishing as a livelihood strategy that undermines the success of sanctuaries as an ecological restoration strategy. The findings reflected that sanctuaries and other similar management strategies have social impacts on stakeholders and human societies, and these social impacts can have surprising feedbacks that influence management success. Thus, the success of ecological restoration relies on understanding the human dimensions of the system and that ecological and social restoration must go together. To address this goal, we call for developing fisheries policy that will facilitate engagement of resource users and other local stakeholders in sanctuary comanagement, which will ultimately strengthen fishers’ livelihoods and sustain the benefit from ecological restoration. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
A Global Synthesis Reveals Gaps in Coastal Habitat Restoration Research
Sustainability 2018, 10(4), 1040; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10041040 - 01 Apr 2018
Cited by 7
Abstract
Coastal ecosystems have drastically declined in coverage and condition across the globe. To combat these losses, marine conservation has recently employed habitat restoration as a strategy to enhance depleted coastal ecosystems. For restoration to be a successful enterprise, however, it is necessary to [...] Read more.
Coastal ecosystems have drastically declined in coverage and condition across the globe. To combat these losses, marine conservation has recently employed habitat restoration as a strategy to enhance depleted coastal ecosystems. For restoration to be a successful enterprise, however, it is necessary to identify and address potential knowledge gaps and review whether the field has tracked scientific advances regarding best practices. This enables managers, researchers, and practitioners alike to more readily establish restoration priorities and goals. We synthesized the peer-reviewed, published literature on habitat restoration research in salt marshes, oyster reefs, and seagrasses to address three questions related to restoration efforts: (i) How frequent is cross-sector authorship in coastal restoration research? (ii) What is the geographic distribution of coastal restoration research? and (iii) Are abiotic and biotic factors equally emphasized in the literature, and how does this vary with time? Our vote-count survey indicated that one-third of the journal-published studies listed authors from at least two sectors, and 6% listed authors from all three sectors. Across all habitat types, there was a dearth of studies from Africa, Asia, and South America. Finally, despite many experimental studies demonstrating that species interactions can greatly affect the recovery and persistence of coastal foundation species, only one-fourth of the studies we examined discussed their effects on restoration. Combined, our results reveal gaps and discrepancies in restoration research that should be addressed in order to further propel coastal restoration science. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Challenges and Proposals for Socio-Ecological Sustainability of the Tagus–Segura Aqueduct (Spain) under Climate Change
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2058; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112058 - 09 Nov 2017
Cited by 10
Abstract
Since its inauguration in 1979, the Tagus–Segura Aqueduct has become one of the hydraulic infrastructures that has had the most significant socio-economic repercussions in Spain during the past few decades. The aqueduct is significant for its strategic importance and developmental potential for south-east [...] Read more.
Since its inauguration in 1979, the Tagus–Segura Aqueduct has become one of the hydraulic infrastructures that has had the most significant socio-economic repercussions in Spain during the past few decades. The aqueduct is significant for its strategic importance and developmental potential for south-east Spain, where it provides water for agriculture as well as for tourism and urban consumption. The aim of this study is to analyze the uncertainties regarding the future functioning of this infrastructure in view of the reduction of water resources and a higher frequency of drought episodes due to climate change. To this end, an analysis was performed on previous studies of hydrological plans, regulations and studies on climate change in order to enable an assessment to be made of the possible effects of these changes on the normal functions of the Tagus–Segura Aqueduct. Consideration is also given to the new management rules that have regulated this infrastructure since 2014, the use of alternative water resources, and proposals such as measures to increase resilience in light of future climate change scenarios and their effects on the Mediterranean. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
The Environmental Conservation Value of the Saemangeum Open Sea in Korea
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 2036; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9112036 - 06 Nov 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
The Saemangeum open sea (SOS), which refers to the outer sea of the Saemangeum seawall in Korea, is being threatened by contamination caused by the Saemangeum development project. The policy-makers need information on the environmental conservation value of the SOS for informed decision-making [...] Read more.
The Saemangeum open sea (SOS), which refers to the outer sea of the Saemangeum seawall in Korea, is being threatened by contamination caused by the Saemangeum development project. The policy-makers need information on the environmental conservation value of the SOS for informed decision-making about the SOS. This paper attempts to measure the environmental conservation value of the SOS. To this end, the public’s willingness to pay (WTP) for conserving the SOS is derived from a 2015 contingent valuation survey of 1000 Korean households comprising 400 households residing in the Saemangeum area and 600 households living in other areas. The authors employ a one-and-one-half-bounded dichotomous choice question format. Moreover, the spike model is adopted to analyze the WTP data with zero observations. The mean annual WTP values for both areas are calculated to be KRW 3861 (USD 3.26) and KRW 3789 (USD 3.20) per household, respectively. They are statistically significant at the 1% level. When the sample is expanded to the whole country, it is worth KRW 70.9 billion (USD 59.8 million) per annum. Therefore, conserving the SOS will contribute to the Korean people’s utility and can be done with public support. The value provides a useful baseline for decision-making for the SOS management. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessArticle
Social Perception of Ecosystem Services in a Coastal Wetland Post-Earthquake: A Case Study in Chile
Sustainability 2017, 9(11), 1983; https://doi.org/10.3390/su9111983 - 30 Oct 2017
Cited by 2
Abstract
Natural disasters can cause abrupt disturbances in coastal wetlands, affecting the social perception of ecosystem services (ES). The Tubul-Raqui coastal wetland is one of the most important wetlands in south-central Chile. Rich in biodiversity, these wetlands provide ES to a population of 2238 [...] Read more.
Natural disasters can cause abrupt disturbances in coastal wetlands, affecting the social perception of ecosystem services (ES). The Tubul-Raqui coastal wetland is one of the most important wetlands in south-central Chile. Rich in biodiversity, these wetlands provide ES to a population of 2238 inhabitants. The recent MW = 8.8 earthquake of 2010 caused a coastal uplift of 1.4 m and substantial morphological, social, and environmental changes. This paper analyzes the social perceptions of the inhabitants of the village of Tubul-Raqui following a large earthquake disturbance with regards to ES provision frequency and their future changes. A statistically representative semi-structured survey was conducted (175 valid surveys) and the data interpreted through factor analysis and statistical tests for independent categorical variables. The perception of cultural and regulating services was significantly greater than that of provisioning services, which were probably the most affected by the earthquake. Residents identified habitat for species, recreation, and hazard regulation as the most important ES. Perception was influenced by the categorical variables of gender, age, and ethnicity; for example, hazard regulation services varied strongly by gender. According to the respondents, the availability of ES will remain stable (50%) or decrease (40%) in the next 50 years, mainly due to anthropogenic drivers; the effect of natural disasters was not mentioned among the main drivers of change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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Open AccessPerspective
Investing in Natural and Nature-Based Infrastructure: Building Better Along Our Coasts
Sustainability 2018, 10(2), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10020523 - 15 Feb 2018
Cited by 15
Abstract
Much of the United States’ critical infrastructure is either aging or requires significant repair, leaving U.S. communities and the economy vulnerable. Outdated and dilapidated infrastructure places coastal communities, in particular, at risk from the increasingly frequent and intense coastal storm events and rising [...] Read more.
Much of the United States’ critical infrastructure is either aging or requires significant repair, leaving U.S. communities and the economy vulnerable. Outdated and dilapidated infrastructure places coastal communities, in particular, at risk from the increasingly frequent and intense coastal storm events and rising sea levels. Therefore, investments in coastal infrastructure are urgently needed to ensure community safety and prosperity; however, these investments should not jeopardize the ecosystems and natural resources that underlie economic wealth and human well-being. Over the past 50 years, efforts have been made to integrate built infrastructure with natural landscape features, often termed “green” infrastructure, in order to sustain and restore valuable ecosystem functions and services. For example, significant advances have been made in implementing green infrastructure approaches for stormwater management, wastewater treatment, and drinking water conservation and delivery. However, the implementation of natural and nature-based infrastructure (NNBI) aimed at flood prevention and coastal erosion protection is lagging. There is an opportunity now, as the U.S. government reacts to the recent, unprecedented flooding and hurricane damage and considers greater infrastructure investments, to incorporate NNBI into coastal infrastructure projects. Doing so will increase resilience and provide critical services to local communities in a cost-effective manner and thereby help to sustain a growing economy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social-Ecological Restoration for Coastal Sustainability)
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