Borges, P., Phillips, M.R., Ng, K., Medeiros, A., Calado, H., 2014. Preliminary coastal vulnerability assessment for Pico Island (Azores). In: Green, A.N. and Cooper, J.A.G. (eds.), Proceedings 13th International Coastal Symposium (Durban, South Africa), Journal of Coastal Research, Special Issue No. 70, pp. 385–388, ISSN 0749-0208.
The SMARTPARKS project (PTDC/AAC-AMB/098786/2008), funded by the Portuguese Foundation for Science and Technology (FCT), aims at establishing a planning and management system for small island (SI) protected areas (PA). Diverging from traditional no-take zone protected areas this project strives to integrate human activities, economic and cultural development, and conservation objectives. Pico Island in the Azores archipelago was selected as a suitable case study site. Pico is a Natural Park with 35% of its area being classified as PAs. This paper presents the assessment of relative coastal vulnerability of Pico to erosion and coastal flooding in order to determine how best to manage the PAs with respects to coastal hazards. A Coastal Vulnerability Index (CVI) was developed based on remote sensing and fieldwork data whereby a set of physical coastal parameters, which serve as indicators of vulnerability, were obtained: type of cliff; exposure to swell/storm waves; outcrop flooded; and coastal defences. The CVI values were used to rate coastal segments into five classes ranging from extremely low to very high based on its relative degree of vulnerability. CVI will provide input into a decision support tool to facilitate effective planning and management on Pico Island Natural Park with the potential of adapting and extending this approach to the other SIs.