Due to their impact on the natural system and their cost, coastal structures are normally an important element in coastal zone management studies. Depending on their effect on the coastal system, the following three categories of coastal structures may be identified:
Shabla municipality took the conscious decision to compromise part of its coastal landscape in favour of hard rock measures to protect the coast from severe annual erosion. Various structures were built to safeguard the coastline and ensure the livelihoods of the local communities. The measures proved effective to ‘’hold the line’’ and the increased safety has allowed other economic activities to develop e.g. eco-tourism.
For Cape Shabla, a comprehensive, coastal protection, urban plan together with a construction project was ordered by the municipality for the villages including the facilities and a small port (used by both fishermen and recreational yachts) and the necessary infrastructure. To the north of Shabla, this consisted of a rocky embankment protection dyke (200m long), a low jetty (40m long), a high pier (110m long), a concrete wall (105m long) and a berth (125m long). To the south of Shabla, the construction works consisted of a rocky embankment protection dyke (250m long). The fishermen’s village now has berths for 113 boats, 44 yachts and 6 motorised cutters for local tourism trips.
The protection measures have been effective and the erosion process has stopped. The main goals have, therefore, been achieved viz. the losses of the shoreline have stopped, the risks to the population and the capital investments have decreased and the interests of the local community have been adequately protected.
The Romanian Black Sea coast is facing long term shoreline erosion problems. Since the 1980s, the southern part of the Romanian coast, where the most economic and social activities are located, is threatened by a steady increase of erosion phenomena which has caused severe damage in terms of beach losses, tourism and recreation facilities and public safety. Since 2005, coastal protection became a priority for the Romanian government. Taking into account the serious threat of coastal erosion, the government requested support from the Japanese Government. Through its Agency JICA (Japan International Cooperation Agency), Romania received international technical assistance and financial support to develop a comprehensive study for coastal protection and rehabilitation of the southern part of the Romanian Black Sea coastal area. The main outcome of the study was the Master Plan for coastal protection delivered at the end of 2007. The protection coastal measures identified in the Master Plan for the two priority areas were mainly directed towards hard protection such as breakwaters and groynes and to a lesser degree by soft protection such as artificial reefs and artificial sand nourishments. In addition, maintenance of the existing hard structure or removal of the inadequate and non-effective old structures were also considered as necessary coastal works.
An assessment of the coastal protection measures in terms of estimated costs for operation, maintenance and a management plan, legal and institutional framework, was carried out by the Romanian institutions. A Strategic Environmental Assessmenthas been applied for the Master Plan and its outcomes paving the way for a Strategic Plan for coastal protection. Also an EIA and public debate of the two priority projects were conducted.