CoastWEB: Valuing the contribution which COASTal habitats make to human health and WEllBeing, with a focus on the alleviation of natural hazards

Lead Research Organisation: Plymouth Marine Laboratory
Department Name: Plymouth Marine Lab

Abstract

Despite increasing recognition of connections between natural environment and human health and wellbeing, these links are still poorly understood. There is a real need to develop methodological approaches to fully elucidate natural environments for health and wellbeing. To address this need the CoastWEB project aims to holistically value the contribution which coastal habitats make to human health and wellbeing, with a focus on the alleviation of coastal natural hazards and extreme events. The research is ambitious in its interdisciplinary scope, including art, social and environmental psychology, environmental economics, governance, policy, a suite of natural sciences, and non-academic stakeholders. It also covers a range of scales from local Welsh case study sites to UK national. We are proposing a circular 4 step process:
1. The proposed research begins with the definition of a set of "real world" future interventions for Welsh salt marsh ecosystems, with a particular focus on coastal defence, and set within a broader national policy context. It is critical that the outputs of this research are useful to end users, and not just academic, as such the definition of these options will be made in close collaboration with a broad range of stakeholders.
2. The impact of these interventions on saltmarsh coastal defence capacity will then be explored using natural science and modelling techniques, improving our understanding of the key ecosystem processes and attributes which influence this capacity. The impact on other ecosystem services will also be documented using existing literature. A key output of this step will be the production of Wales-wide maps of changes in salt marsh coastal defence services, under differing interventions.
3. The impact of these changes in coastal defence, and broader ecosystem service delivery, will be linked to changes in human health and wellbeing at both a local community and national scale. The local wellbeing impacts will be explored through the application of qualitative dialogue based techniques, whereas the national scale impacts will be explored through quantitative (monetary and non-monetary) survey techniques.
4. Through mapping and workshops, using both an interactive artistic approach (local) and the established modelling platform, TIM (national), the health and wellbeing results will then feed directly back into the stakeholder base and the management of the salt marsh, as they will provide a unique insight into the broader health and wellbeing aspects of salt marshes, under the future interventions proposed in step 1.

The mixed methods approach proposed will provide a greater understanding examining health and wellbeing in different ways, enabling our ability to handle different understandings and interpretations of value. However, the aim is not to use different disciplines to translate for each other, or to combine results into one metric, but rather to embrace the differences in the approaches and outputs and to explore how they can complement each other. Using these complementary approaches and scales is beneficial in providing managers with a diverse array of information for making decisions.

Planned Impact

Our research will contribute to the knowledge base both locally and globally, in both academic and applied terms. Key outcomes and benefits of this research include: (1) novel developments in academic fields of environmental valuation, environmental and social psychology, and salt marsh ecology with at least 12 peer-reviewed publications and presentations at international conferences; (2) a fundamental advancement of our understanding of the relationship between human health and wellbeing and the natural environment, through the development, integration and application of academic disciplines, focused on coastal defence functioning of salt marshes, but with lessons learned that can be directly transferred across ecosystems. This will be evidenced through 1-2 high level over-arching academic publications; (3) provision of new health and wellbeing values, at local to country wide scales, to support environmental management, including coastal policies (SMP), with implications to monetary spending on climate change mitigation, coastal defence, managed realignment and spatial compensation for habitat loss. (4) establishment of long standing collaborative legacies.
These prospective outcomes will have direct impact on a number of beneficiaries, including:
a. National environmental managers (NRW, Defra, MMO) will directly profit from improved information regarding the coastal defence capacity of salt marsh, and the resultant health and wellbeing values, developing understanding of the comparative value of these habitats under different interventions. This information will enable the raising of awareness and transparency of trade-offs in decision making in an environmental context.
b. Local environmental managers such as county, city and town councils with substantial salt marsh in their jurisdictions will be able to use both the collected health and wellbeing values and the methods developed in this project for better understanding of trade-offs and environmental value in coastal management.
c. Academics, environmental managers and NGOs will benefit from improvements in both intra-disciplinary methods, and also inter-disciplinary collaborations, for specific application to health and wellbeing valuation as methods and values of improved accuracy and utility will be provided.
d. Public and wider society will benefit from the project results as they will help to ensure that the public's valuation of important natural assets are meaningfully represented in future development decisions. These insights will also be relevant to the work of many environmental NGOs such as the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds and county wildlife trusts.
e. International initiatives including The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) and Natural Capital Initiatives (NCI) and Projects (NCP) in the UK, US and across world will be informed by the health and wellbeing valuation methodologies and outputs. There is a well-documented need for primary valuation research such as this, particularly in the coastal sector, to support such initiatives.
 
Description Improved understanding of saltmarsh function. Improved understanding of interdisciplinary research.
Exploitation Route In policy, management, and academia
Sectors Aerospace, Defence and Marine,Environment,Leisure Activities, including Sports, Recreation and Tourism,Culture, Heritage, Museums and Collections

 
Description Advisor to EA Coastal Squeeze R&D project
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
 
Description Member of the Evidence Needs (BEERN) Programme of the Wales Biodiversity Partnership
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Membership of a guideline committee
URL https://www.biodiversitywales.org.uk/BEERN-Programme
 
Description Scientific advisor of Coastal Evidence Gaps Project of Welsh Biodiversity Parthership
Geographic Reach Europe 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a advisory committee
URL https://www.biodiversitywales.org.uk/WBP-Evidence-Gaps-Project
 
Description C-SIDE project - NERC 
Organisation University of St Andrews
Department School of Biology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Co-wrote the proposal that eventually actracted NERC standard grant funding. New partner at St Andrews, Paleo-Oceanography.
Collaborator Contribution Paleo-oceaongraphical expertise, especially radio istope dating of sedimentary cores.
Impact Still emerging. Early days.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaboboration with NRN funded RESILCOAST project 
Organisation Bangor University
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Time and intellectual input
Collaborator Contribution Time and intellectual input
Impact Just started
Start Year 2016
 
Description Collaboration with WCMC of UN-Environment 
Organisation United Nations (UN)
Department UN Environment World Conservation Monitoring Centre (UNEP-WCMC)
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution Discussed global research needs in support of WCMC coastal wetland management, including human wellbeing associations.
Collaborator Contribution WCMC joined as partner in outline bid for a large grant proposal to NERC, March 2018.
Impact WCMC joined as partner in March 2018 outline bid for a NERC large grant.
Start Year 2017
 
Description Contractual collaboration with Natural Resources Wales to map salmarsh grazing impacts 
Organisation Natural Resources Wales
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Public 
PI Contribution Natural Resources Wales have accepted a quote of £7500 to produce a dataset and GIS map layers of Ecosystem Services, land management and conservation metrics for salt marshes in the Carmarthen Bay and Estuaries SAC.
Collaborator Contribution This project is a direct result of a meeting between RESILCOAST (Griffin, Skov, Fowler, Davison) and NRW staff, aimed at bridging the research-policy divide. The outputs will facilitate management of an extensive and complex site, by filling evidence gaps and providing spatially explicit data on conflicting management priorities. The award will fund 6 months stipend for RESILCOAST associate Kate Davidson to complete the project, supervised by John Griffin
Impact Emergent report and maps of grazing mangement impacts on welsh marshes.
Start Year 2017
 
Description NERC KE fellowship. The design, implementation and evaluation of Ecosystem-based Adaptation in Bangladesh. 
Organisation University of Oxford
Department Department of Zoology
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution Input to proposal, formal collaborator, continued work as project partner
Collaborator Contribution Led by Oxford
Impact No outputs yet as just beginning.
Start Year 2017
 
Description - National Eisteddfod (Anglesey, N Wales) - August 2017 - No Project staff, the stands and tanks were supported by National Research Network for Low Carbon, Economy and Environment (NRN-LCEE - RESILCOAST funders). 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Sharing of CoastWEB STEM resources to generate interest, discussion and improve understanding of the many roles and functions of saltmarsh
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description 7th June PEMSEA webinar. Invited speaker. The ecosystem services (ES) approach, its application and the assessment of marine and coastal ecosystems to support marine management 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 7th June PEMSEA webinar. Invited speaker. The ecosystem services (ES) approach, its application and the assessment of marine and coastal ecosystems to support marine management
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Blue Solution Initiative webinar 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact 17th January 2017 Blue Solution Initiative webinars through OpenChannels, on "Integrating marine ecosystem services". Keynote presentation - "The Ecosystem Service (ES) approach: Lessons Learned"
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Cambridge University Science Festival 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an open day or visit at my research institution
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Hands-on activity as part of the University Science Festival drop-in session at the Department of Geography at which visitors were able to examine different types of intertidal sediments and inspect the invertebrates that populate them under the microscope. Activities also included a salt marsh identification challenge and a demonstration on how salt marsh sedimentation is measured over time to track its response to sea level rise.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://www.sciencefestival.cam.ac.uk/events/its-muddy-world
 
Description CoastWEB external advisory board 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact CoastWEB External Advisory Board meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description CoastWEB external advisory board meeting 15th June 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact External Advisory Board meeting to share research with stakeholders
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description CoastWEB team meeting Nov 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Study participants or study members
Results and Impact Team meeting plus input from NRW as relevant stakeholders
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description European Coastal Ecology Workshop 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Postgraduate students
Results and Impact 35 post graduate students (MSc and PhD) attended the workshop to network, exchange knowledge and develop collaborations on saltmarsh related research across Northern Europe. The presentation on CoastWEB stimulated much debate on the value of saltmarsh ecosystems
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Hidden Worlds (Bangor, N Wales) - March 2017 - Jordi Pages, Martin Skov, Mollie Duggan-Edwards 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact School pupils attended initiating discussion and interest in saltmarsh function and coastal defence.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Hidden Worlds (Bangor, N Wales) - March 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact STEM outreach activity generating interest in Saltmarsh functions and benefits
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2008
 
Description Invited expert to Planetary Health Brainstorming Meeting. Yale Center for the Study of Globalization/Rockefeller Foundation. New York. 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Policymakers/politicians
Results and Impact 7th Dec 2016 Invited expert to Planetary Health Brainstorming Meeting. Yale Center for the Study of Globalization/Rockefeller Foundation. New York.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Invited presentation at IUCN international Blue Carbon meeting (Blue Natura), Malaga, Spain: 21-22nd November 2016 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Martin Skov was invited to speak about coastal resilience, in a carbon-sequestration context, at the IUCN-organised 'BlueNatura , 21-22nd November 2016, in Malaga, Spain. The meeting was attended by a wide collective of global stakeholders in management of blue carbon systems (salt marshes, mangroves, seagrasses, kelp beds), including the IUCNs Global Blue Carbon Working Group that sets many policy directions to marine carbon research. Martin did two keynote presentations and spent considerable time discussing resilience research gaps in the blue carbon, with delegates, politicians and colleague researchers from around the world.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
URL https://www.iucn.org/news/conference-coastal-carbon-sinks-conservation-21-22-november-malaga-spain
 
Description Low Carbon Energy and Environment Research Network Wales - 17th Public Lecture, 13th December 2017 "The challenges of applying science to nature based coastal protection" 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact lecture as part of public lecture series, attended by a range of government and charitable organisations as well as academics and students. Vivid debate after the lecture, which was recorded and broadcast via YouTube (see link below). Related tweets and re-tweets earned over 5,000 impressions on Twitter in the two days after the lecture, and drew attention from practitioners who are applying nature-based solutions to coastal flood and erosion risk management in Wales and beyond.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL https://youtu.be/m-hbZlLARxc
 
Description NERC UnEarthed Exhibition (Dynamic Earth, Edinburgh, Scotland) - November 2017 - Emma McKinley, Jordi Pages, Meghan Alexander, Nicky Beaumont. 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Schools
Results and Impact NERC funded STEM event visited by over 2000 people, generating much excitement, interest and enthusiasm in saltmarshes and the variety of roles they play and benefits they provide.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Organised workshop on Coastal Grazing Landscapes - Exploring the diverse preferences for saltmarsh livestock grazing 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact We organised a workshop on saltmarsh grazing to develop a clearer understanding of how Welsh saltmarshes are used by the farming community, and to determine how multiple uses and values can be supported. Paticipants came from councils, environmental agencies (Natural England, NRW), the farming community and NGOs.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://interests.me/org/cardiff-info/story/95059
 
Description Participation in Blue Carbon Working Group meeting 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Participation in the Blue Carbon Working Group (UN) regional meeting in Ibiza, Spain, 9-12th October, 2017.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://thebluecarboninitiative.org/scientific-working-group/
 
Description Presentaion at annual VNP conference: The place that saltmarsh occupies in the popular psyche 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact The presentation described reoccurring themes related to saltmarshes portrayed in popular literature and the changing place that saltmarsh occupies in the popular psyche.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation - CoastWEB: Experiences from the interdisciplinary coalface 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at VNP conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Presentation of CoastWEB to RESILCOAST audience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation of CoastWEB at RESILCOAST annual meeting
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Presentation of CoastWEB to VNP audience 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Interest and engagement with CoastWEB project
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2016
 
Description Presentation of Ecosystem services and human health and well-being by Olivia Rendon 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Presentation at VNP conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Royal Metereological Society meeting on 'Risky Business', Bristol, 11th April 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact To evaluate environmental change, from a climatic perspective, and how this will impact on society and the natural environment. The meeting had input from NHS, geological society, research community and the Royal society itself. My presentation was entitled: Are Sudden Changes in the Cover of Valuable Saltmarshes Linked to Climate Change?
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description SaltmarshNET: After dinner talk at international meeting of social, enviroment and economic scientisits 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact An after dinner talk at the SaltmarshNET workshop designed to generate international collaboration across a group of international scientists with a focus on salt marsh ecosystems. Work has started on a series of papers and draft NERC large grant proposal
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Science stall at the Greenman festival, 15th - 18th August 2018 Elizabeth Gabe-Thomas, Nicola Beaumount, Meghan Alexander, Angus Garbutt 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact CoastWEB ran a science engagement stall at the Einstein's garden area of the Green man festival. The area of the festival aims to nurture curiosity and inspire festival goers (children and adults) with science and nature.
The stall, 'Save Our Seaside Town', featured two wave tanks (one with astro-turf salt marsh and the other with clay and sand sediment) that demonstrated the value of working with nature in coastal management and protection. An interactive photo activity was used to explore the aesthetic and eudemonic aspects of coastal protection and proved successful in drawing visitors to the stall. The stall also featured samples of salt marsh vegetation and a salt marsh 'core' for visitors to see how the layers of sediment change over time. We also explored the wildlife that is commonly found on saltmarshes with photos and stickers.
The stall was very popular with lots of positive feedback from visitors. Team saltmarsh gave away over 500 stickers to visitors, over 500 visitors interacted with the photo activity and we engaged with many more festival goers. Children preferred the messy wave tanks while adults particularly engaged with the photo activity.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
 
Description Soapbox Science (Cardiff, S Wales) - June 2017 - Emma McKinley 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Local
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact Generated much discussion and interest with general public as stand set up in shopping area in Cardiff.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
 
Description Stand on natural flood protection at the Eisteddfod Yr Urdd, Brecon, 2018 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact We had a stall on natural flood protection and ecosystem services at at the Eisteddfod Yr Urdd, Brecon, 27-31/05/2018. The stall included a small flume, lego village and flodding display, chocolate coins to illustrate costs and valuation, and multiple colourful displays and posters. Interacted with hundreds of people over 5 days.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018
URL https://www.urdd.cymru/en/news-press/brycheiniog-maesyfed-yn-gwahodd-eisteddfod-yr-urdd-yn-2018/
 
Description The second meeting for the Business Interest Group for the Valuing Nature Programme, at RIBA London, 25th January 2017 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Industry/Business
Results and Impact Participation in a workshop with the Business Interest Group for the Valuing Nature Programme. Presenting on behalf of CoastWEB to a panel composed of the Business Interest Group and representatives of the other participating projects within the Valuing Nature Programme: Wetland Life (Tim Acott),IWUN (Anna Jorgensen), UK land ecosystems (Tim Lenton), GHIA (Sarah Lindley), Blanket Peatlands (Mark Reed), Lowland Landscapes (Adrian Newton). Programme Coordinators: Rosie Hails, VNPCT, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Guy Duke, Business Champion, VNPCT, Independent, Anita Weatherby, Programme Manager, VNPCT, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology. Mutual information session with a great deal of feedback on the business potential within each research programme
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2017
URL http://valuing-nature.net/coastweb-valuing-contribution-which-coastal-habitats-make-human-health-and...
 
Description VNP lecture series. Making Nature Investable? 
Form Of Engagement Activity A formal working group, expert panel or dialogue
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact On expert panel guiding discussion following presentation
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2018