The costs and benefits of protecting a coastal amenity from climate change-related hazards

This research examines the recreational use values associated with a coastal walking trail under threat from increased episodes of storm surges and coastal erosion, and the cost of alternative grey and nature based infrastructure options that could protect it. These options involve restoring an oyster reef bar that would act as a natural breakwater versus a hard engineering solution such as an impermeable revetment. This comparison also facilitates the demonstration of the cost effectiveness of nature based solutions (NBS) for climate adaptation versus the grey alterative – information that is needed for climate adaptation and flood management planning. Research in which the monetary costs and benefits of NBS versus grey alternatives are compared are still limited and this study provides additional information to help fill that gap. The study was carried out at a coastal walking trail, on Galway Bay on the west coast of Ireland. In order to obtain information relating to the demand for recreational walking along the coastal path, an on-site survey of users was conducted while relevant cost information was compiled for the two protection alternatives.

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