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Title: Coast erosion and the community : a study of collective and individual responses to coastal cliff erosion in the UK and USA
Author: Ricketts, Peter John
ISNI:       0000 0001 3518 1938
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1981
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This study is an investigation of the way in which people, as groups and individuals, respond to processes of coast erosion in soft cliff environments. Such processes, being continuous over time rather than discrete, do not lend themselves well to traditional concepts of natural hazard research. The nature of the environmental decision-making process is examined with respect to coast erosion management, together with the nature of the coast erosion process-response system. Perceptions of coast erosion as a series of discrete events acting within a small time scale have traditionally lead to the development of public policy and individual responses geared to preventing erosion incidents. Such responses have little regard for the spatial and temporal dynamics of the coastal physiographic system. A comparison between British and U.S. coast erosion policies together with in depth investigation of their implementation through case-studies at Barton-on-Sea, Hampshire and Newport, Oregon, reveals that despite a long tradition of adherence to structural adjustments, a more flexible and geomorphologically realistic approach has evolved in the U.S. over the last decade. The Barton case-study is particularly important in highlighting many of the shortcomings of British coast protection policy. Questionnaire analysis of the local communities at Barton and Newport reveal that the majority of local residents do not support the use of structural adjustments. Causal models are developed explaining the nature of community response, in which the hazard of coast erosion is a perceived rather than an actual state dependent upon the degree to which residents perceive an actual or threatened personal loss as a result of erosion. This 'personal hazard situation' is considered to be dominant over any concepts of 'community' hazard. Based on the comparison of British and U.S. policies and the findings of the case-study analyses, a model is suggested for the development of a comprehensive coast erosion management programme.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Geography