Anticipated sea level rise in coastal regions is expected to worsen the impact of coastal hazards such as erosion, inundation and flooding from storm surges. Accordingly, the resulting impacts on coastal settlements and infrastructure will be widespread. These impacts are particularly critical in small islands as the settlements and infrastructure are mainly located along coastlines with almost no, or very limited relocation options.
Currently, the standard approach to defending buildings and other structures from the rising sea level impacts is through construction of a concrete or rock seawall, or some similar kind of so-called “capital works”. However, these interventions destroy or degrade natural ecosystems. One solution that avoids this problem is to use ecosystems to help reduce the risks from increasing coastal inundation and erosion.