ABSTRACT

Ruz, M.-H.; Rufin-Soler, C.; Héquette, A.; Révillon, R.; Hellequin, A.-P.; Deboudt, P.; Herbert, V.; Cohen, O.; Lebreton, F.; Le Goff, L.; Schmitt, F.G., and Marin, D., 2020. Climate change and risk perceptions in two French coastal communities. In: Malvárez, G. and Navas, F. (eds.), Global Coastal Issues of 2020. Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 95, pp. 875–879. Coconut Creek (Florida), ISSN 0749-0208.

Understanding public perception of climate change risks in coastal communities is a prerequisite for effective climate adaptation. This study aimed at evaluating the potential impacts of climate change on two coastal communities on the northern coast of France by producing prospective maps of the coastline by 2065 and at assessing the local inhabitants' risk perception and preferred strategies for facing future coastal risks through a survey of 285 households. The solutions inhabitants considered the more appropriate to preserve their living environment while adapting to the potential impacts of climate change were analyzed. A vast majority of the inhabitants is aware of coastal risks in their municipality, but their feeling of exposure is spatially-influenced depending on the distance to the hazard source. Conversely, no relationship was found between preferred strategies for facing future coastal risks and proximity to the shoreline. In the municipality where only soft defense structures are present, more inhabitants opt for the “hold the line” solution, while in the other municipality where a portion of the coast is protected by a seawall, a much larger proportion of the surveyed residents prefer the adaptation option.

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