Coastal environments are some of the most dynamic places on earth. They are also where most of the human population on our planet resides and where uniquely adapted and societally important ecosystems have evolved. Change in coastal settings is driven by atmospheric, oceanic, and terrestrial processes and heavily mediated or directly forced by human interventions. The location of coastal environments at the land-sea interface means that change reflects both dynamic land-use and land-to-sea sediment and water fluxes but also meteorological and global climatic conditions.
In this, the 21st Century, coastal environments are under increasing pressure from human development on the one hand and a changing climate and sea-level on the other. In many locations, communities and ecosystems are threatened by more frequent or more severe coastal flooding and erosion, a lack of sediment, or a lack of space in which natural processes can function to deliver natural coastal protection and other ecosystem services.
The Coastal Research Group in Trinity College addresses the many scientific and societal challenges emerging from the coming together of human and environmental drivers at the coast, particularly on shallow, low-lying coastal fringes. It aims to deliver scientific insights with relevance to coastal management and decision-making with a view to achieving a just and sustainable transition towards a changed climate future.