The Portuguese coastline has a high diversity of coastal types, which will react differently to an accelerated sea-level rise. Estuaries and coastal lagoons will be most affected by a rising sea level. Amongst these, the Sado and Tagus estuaries and the Ria de Aveiro and the Ria Formosa coastal lagoons are probably the ones where socioeconomic impacts resulting from accelerated sea-level rise would be greatest. Sandy shores will face increased erosion. However, it is likely that at this type of coast other factors, such as sand deficiency caused by damming river basins, will continue to play a larger role in erosion than accelerated sea-level rise. Hard rocky coasts will be the least affected by accelerated sea-level rise. Specific adaptation policies for accelerated sea-level rise impacts do not presently exist in Portugal. However, existing laws can be used to prevent and/or reduce socioeconomic impacts if they are strictly applied. A strong commitment to coastal management by Portuguese authorities is therefore necessary in order to prevent and minimise future implications of accelerated sea-level rise.
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Vol. 2008 • No. 242