Assistant Professor Steve Dundas has published "Benefits and ancillary costs of natural infrastructure: Evidence from the New Jersey coast" in the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. Steve's paper estimates the economic impacts of a large-scale public investment in natural infrastructure aimed at adapting to climate change and increasing coastal resilience, and the results suggest that the policy intervention generates ancillary costs related to impaired ocean views and privacy concerns that partially offset large protection benefits.
The authors use the U.S. Pacific Northwest coastal dune ecosystem toexamine how invasive beachgrass management affects three ecosystem services (1) coastal protection, (2) western snowy plover conservation, and (3) endemic foredune plant conservation. With better understanding of relationships between ecosystem services, it becomes possible to identify management actions that may enhance synergies and mitigate tradeoffs, leading to better decisions for nature and people
- Biel R.G., S.D. Hacker, P. Ruggiero, N. Cohn, and E.W. Seabloom. 2017. Coastal protection and conservation along sandy beaches and dunes: context-dependent tradeoffs in ecosystem services. Ecosphere 8: e01791. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.1791
This chapter focuses on how dune shapes result in variable levels of exposure to coastal hazards. Dune shape is primarily a function of sediment supply and species of beach grasses growing on the dunes. This study focused on American beachgrass (A. breviligulata) and European beachgrass (A. arenaria), which have distinctly different dune shapes. The dense, vertical growth habit of European beachgrass allows it to capture more sand, produce more vertical tillers, and build taller, narrower dunes. The less dense, lateral growth habit of American beachgrass is more suited for building shorter but wider dunes. These findings allow us to assess coastal barrier vulnerability in light of changing global climates.
- Ruggiero P., S.D. Hacker, E. Seabloom, and P. Zarnetske. In Press. The role of vegetation in determining dune morphology, exposure to sea level rise, and storm-induced coastal hazards: A U.S. Pacific Northwest perspective. Chapter 11. Pages xxx-xxx in Moore, L., B. Murray. Barrier Dynamics and Response to Climate Change, Springer. http://www.springer.com/us/book/9783319680842 (Book due out in May 2018)