Assessing the success of integrated shoreline management in the Tordera Delta, northeastern Spain

Sagristà, Enric Sardá, Rafael. Regional Environmental Change 20 : 87 (2020)  DIGITAL CSIC  ht

Coastal catchment zones have undergone enormous changes during recent decades that have compromised their resilience. As a consequence of largely fragmented coastal management frameworks in the delta region of the Tordera River, the beach of S’Abanell, located on the northern arm of the delta, was in a critically degraded condition by the end of 2006. To remedy this situation, the beach was artificially nourished with sand during the period 2007–2009. After nourishment, we observed a general trend of recovery of the width of the beach, in its northern and central parts, and the reappearance of a pattern of seasonal oscillation. This tendency was not observed in its southern part, near the river mouth, where the situation is still critical today. Tracing the decadal evolution of the problem, we strengthen the knowledge base by compiling a history of past human decisions responsible for the present situation. We promoted stakeholder engagement and participation aimed at reducing human pressures affecting the evolution of the beach and the loss of ecosystem services. The overall idea was to take the initial steps needed to shift the management of this coastal region towards ecosystem-based management principles. This research demonstrates that, under certain conditions, artificial nourishment can contribute to restoring beach health on a decadal scale.