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2016 Hawaiʻi Sea Grant and School of Architecture Conduct Living Shorelines Workshop at 2016 International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) World Conservation Congress

Relevance: Living shorelines integrate habitat restoration techniques, coastal engineering, and conservation to mitigate coastal hazards through the incorporation of natural elements. Living shorelines have been used effectively in the US along the eastern, western, and gulf coasts as an effective alternative to traditional shoreline armoring. However, in tropical island settings, living shorelines may look and function differently based on unique physical, social, cultural, and economic implications of these coastal communities in the face of a changing climate.

Response: Hawaiʻi Sea Grant partnered with ten (10) organizations to develop and conduct a workshop on “Living Shorelines on Tropical Islands: Creating and Maintaining Healthy Coastal Systems and Improving Community Resilience in the Face of Climate Change.” The workshop introduced living shorelines concepts and engaged participants in case studies, hands-on exercises involving different island shoreline configurations, settings, and site-specific challenges to foster new ideas and identify information gaps. We designed, created, and presented three interactive living shorelines physical models used in the workshop.

Results: Fifty-one (51) participants from around the world attended the workshop and were educated about the concepts of living shorelines in tropical island settings. The exchange of ideas and lessons learned helped identify ways in which natural elements could be incorporated into coastal protection and shoreline management schemes in tropical island settings.