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1 March 2017 Human Impact on Coastal Resilience along the Coast of Veracruz, Mexico
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Abstract
Martínez, M.L.; Silva, R.; Lithgow, D.; Mendoza, E; Flores, P.; Martínez, R., and Cruz, C., 2017. Human impact on coastal resilience along the coast of Veracruz, Mexico. In: Martinez, M.L.; Taramelli, A., and Silva, R. (eds.), Coastal Resilience: Exploring the Many Challenges from Different Viewpoints. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 77, pp. 143–153. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.Coastal ecosystems are naturally exposed to recurrent disturbances, which act as drivers of ecosystem dynamics, but in recent years, human impact has exerted intense pressures, resulting in altered dynamics and thus, reduced resilience. In this work the state of Veracruz, on the Gulf of Mexico, was used as a case study to assess the impact of human activities and explore how these have affected coastal resilience. A regional diagnosis was performed, considering coastal morphology, sediment characteristics, shoreline dynamics, natural, and transformed ecosystems, conservation areas, and built infrastructure. The various causes of the chronic erosion taking place in the area are: subduction, rising sea levels, a fall in the amount of available terrigenous sediments and the inadequate design of coastal protection structures, all of them have dramatically reduced the resilience of coastal ecosystems. Considering that population growth, and the increasing needs for goods and services add pressure to coasts, several actions are suggested to reinforce the resilience of the coast of Veracruz: (a) It is vital to recover the sources of terrestrial sediments, move or remove infrastructure or implement sand bypass when possible; (b) it is urgent to consider ecosystem-based coastal zone management; (c) without a proper diagnosis of the status of the coast, coastal management may result in increased environmental problems and risk. These points can be applied elsewhere, as the problems are often very similar. Coastal managers, ecologists, engineers, decision makers and society in general are jointly responsible of the future of the fragile and dynamic coasts.
©Coastal Education and Research Foundation, Inc. 2017
M. Luisa Martinez, Rodolfo Silva, Debora Lithgow, Edgar Mendoza, Pamela Flores, Rubí Martínez and Cesia Cruz "Human Impact on Coastal Resilience along the Coast of Veracruz, Mexico," Journal of Coastal Research (JCR) 77(sp1), (1 March 2017). https://doi.org/10.2112/SI77-015.1
Received: 24 June 2016; Accepted: 19 September 2016; Published: 1 March 2017
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