2005 Salt Lake City Annual Meeting (October 16–19, 2005)

Paper No. 6
Presentation Time: 9:15 AM


BUSH, David M., Department of Geosciences, University of West Georgia, Carrollton, GA 30118, YOUNG, Robert S., Dept. of Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723, NEAL, William J., Geology Department, Grand Valley State Univ, 1 Campus Drive, Allendale, MI 49401 and JACKSON, Chester W., Geology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, dbush@westga.edu

Detailed, long term monitoring is the best approach to define the state of the shoreline, document types and rates of coastal zone change, and guide planning for environmental protection and management. Although highly sophisticated, high technology monitoring and historical analysis techniques exist for collecting baseline data for policy determinations and management, such techniques are expensive, time consuming, and require a high level of expertise. When applied to hazard mapping and risk assessment, these approaches are often regional in scale, rely on global data bases that are incomplete, or are not suitable for application to short coastal reaches or site specific evaluation. Additional limitations include uncertain budgets, human resources, and lack of political continuity to support detailed work or long term commitment.

Employing low cost, scientifically sound, techniques such as photo documentation, simple beach profiling, and geoindicator evaluations, can meet the needs for immediate management guidance as well as long-term monitoring, including updates on impacts from coastal hazards and economic development. The strengths of such approaches are that they are low-cost, field oriented, conducted by local interests (versus remote surveys by commercial, disinterested entities), and provide immediate results and applications that may be of more consequence than methods relying on sophisticated instrumentation and complex data bases. Our experience with several such coastal assessment techniques demonstrates their equal applicability for baseline studies and monitoring in a variety of coastal settings including: National Parks (Cumberland Island National Seashore and the Camden County mainland coast, Georgia), as well as large and small islands with diverse types of coasts (Puerto Rico; U. S. Virgin Islands), and to contrast natural versus engineered shorelines (Puerto Rico). The techniques used in the initial assessments are followed for continued monitoring.