THESEUS will examine the application of innovative combined coastal mitigation and adaptation technologies generally aiming at delivering a safe (or low-risk) coast for human use/development and healthy coastal habitats as sea levels rise and climate changes (and the European economy continues to grow). The primary objective is to provide an integrated methodology for planning sustainable defence strategies for the management of coastal erosion and flooding which addresses technical, social, economic and environmental aspects. THESEUS objectives are governed by three specific goals, which concern: (a) Risk assessment, (b) Response strategies and (c) Application.
More specific project objectives under these goals are:
to develop probabilistic tools for estimating hazard scenarios related to climate variability and change
to improve the knowledge of vulnerability and resilience of coastal defences and of coastal environment for the purposes of mitigation plans
to evaluate coastal flooding damages to infrastructure, environment and human activities; impacts on society, including change of social cohesion, livelihoods, and opportunities
- to analyse innovative mitigation measures of erosion and flooding risk as the latest insights in coastal defence structures and coastline stabilization technologies (as reefs, resilient dikes, over-washed structures)
- to propose and analyse a completely innovative solution such as the use of wave energy converters close to the shoreline for contemporary attenuating wave attacks and produce a secondary benefit
- to design the engineering solutions in a way that minimizes environmental impact and maximizes wider benefits
- to evaluate ecologically based measures as the role of habitat creation (reinforcement of saltmarhses and dunes, biogenic reefs) and the environmental effects of storm surge relief areas
- to examine and set-up adaptation strategies as promotion of social resilience, insurance programs, spatial planning, evacuation plans and post-crisis response, managed realignment
- to set-up “best practices” and prepare guidelines for the integrated design and application of efficient, equitable and sustainable coastal defence technologies
- to set-up a portfolio of mitigation options for the society and the economy
- to develop an integrated approach to select the sustainable defence strategy to face with coastal erosion and flooding in a given coastal area which addresses technical, social, economic and environmental factors
- to validate this approach through applications in study sites, representative of different environmental, social and economic conditions, and to implement the integrated THESEUS software tool based on the developed approach
- to promote coastal flooding resilience and disaster preparedness through education, training, development of best practices for organising post-crisis assistance and dissemination of project results
- to strength international cooperation in order to provide globally an effective and constructive contribution to the implementation of the recently adopted EU Floods Directive (2007), based on which Member States have to assess the watersheds and coastal areas that are at risk from flooding (by 2011); to map the flood extent and assets and humans at risk in these areas (by 2013); and to take adequate and coordinated measures to reduce this flood risk (by 2015).