Constructing an assessment indicators-system to evaluate the environment impact of tidal flats reclamation on the coastal zones — A case in Jiangsu, China

Xindi Chen, J. Chen, C.K. Zhang

Tuesday 30 june 2015

9:00 - 9:15h at Amazon (level 1)

Themes: (T) Hydro-environment, (ST) Ecohydraulics and ecohydrology

Parallel session: 4G Environment - Ecosystem

As a combination between land and marine ecosystem, tidal flats build an indispensable homestead to keep environment balance and maintain biodiversity. While coastal reclamation creates huge benefits by providing a variety of resources for socio-economic development, it leads the tidal flats to witness a large number of human activities. Therefore, we should first realize quantitative and qualitative analysis of the aspects on what tidal flats reclamation will influence, based on which, integrated evaluation system can be built. Combined with the conceptual model of “Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response”, a framework links a layer model with indicators-system to assess integrated environment impact value in given space and time. The integrated approach takes into account three physical layers reflecting the land and water use, the development of infrastructure, the natural resources and base environment. Using a case study in Jiangsu coastal area in China, we assessed the integrated environment impact value by comparing the states before and after the reclamation planning implemented since 2009. The results indicate that (1) hydrodynamic conditions vary near projection areas, but little impact performs on whole tidal system inshore as well as sediment transport and coastal evolution. Flow states of the flood and ebb tides almost remain the same as before. (2) Ecology resource suffers most pressure, but it shows a recovery trend over time. Environmental pollution is also a critical indicator. (3) The integrated environment impact values demonstrate that through infrastructure construction and governance, coastal environment will stabilize the original equilibrium point to a new one. In this paper, the assessment indices system selects the most necessary ones among all the impacts according to Jiangsu tidal flats characteristics. The conclusions will provide base for the long-term accordance between economic development and ecosystem health.