Coastal residents' perceptions of the function of and relationship between engineered and natural infrastructure for coastal hazard mitigation

Jaime D.Ewalt Gray, Karen O'Neill, Zeyuan Qiu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations

Abstract

Public perception research enhances the governance of coastal hazard mitigation. Understanding the public's awareness and perceptions of hazard mitigation infrastructure is an important aspect of effective governance. Emerging federal policies call for more integrated use of engineered and natural infrastructure for mitigating coastal hazards. This study is to assess public awareness and perception of the functions of and relationship between engineered and natural infrastructure, which is critical to the successful implementation of such policies. Semi-structured interviews were conducted to 27 residents from two coastal communities in New Jersey. Thematic content analysis is used to analyze these interview data. The study shows that awareness of mitigation infrastructure stems in part from experience with coastal hazards. Many participants understood the functions of both types of infrastructure in ways that were consistent with the understandings of coastal engineers, but did not fully understand how these two types of infrastructure interact each other to mitigate coastal hazards. Most respondents preferred natural infrastructure, but believed that engineered infrastructure is more effective in coastal hazard mitigation. The knowledge of public perceptions of mitigation infrastructure would be useful to coastal managers in developing and communicating coastal hazard mitigation strategies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-156
Number of pages13
JournalOcean and Coastal Management
Volume146
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

Keywords

  • Coastal hazards
  • Engineered infrastructure
  • Mitigation
  • Natural infrastructure
  • Public perceptions
  • Thematic content analysis

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