Bad Practice in Erosion Management: The Southern Sicily Case Study
MetadataShow full item record
DepartmentCiencias de la Tierra
SourcePitfalls of shioreline stabilizations (Coastal Research Library, Vol. 3, 2012) Chapter 13 pp. 215-233
This case study from Sicily illustrates a common sequence of events where one unwise action was countered with another, which in turn created additional problems. The situation arose through strong political interference and ignorance (or lack of concern) regarding the environmental impacts of human interventions on the shoreline and by the public perception that government has a duty to protect private property. The poor design and location of ports and harbours produced infilling problems and huge updrift accretion with concomitant downdrift erosion. The human-induced coastal retreat was counteracted by the progressive emplacement of breakwaters creating a “domino” effect. On many occasions these were constructed to protect unplanned and illegal (in the sense that they do not conform to planning regulations) beachfront summer houses. Without the presence of these structures, there would have been no need for publicly funded intervention. Furthermore, only a narrow coastal belt close to the shoreline is used by bathers on the wide beaches formed updrift of ports and harbours and in the lee of breakwaters, most of the accreted beach being unused or partially occupied by tourist developments. Thus beach users and municipalities acquired some benefits from beach accretion at specific sites, the opposite being true in eroding areas.