Under the circumstance of climate change and sea-level rise, low-lying coastal areas around the world will be exposed to varying degrees of vulnerability and coastal risk, and the Cromarty Firth is no exception. This design starts at focusing on the human and non-human coastal risks caused by sea-level rise in the Cromarty region, especially the intertidal eelgrass meadows degradation, saltmarsh shrinkage, and coastal world war II historical heritage disappearing problems.
n this landscape design project, a coastal geopark sequence will be implemented in the future to deal with the problems above. The basic strategy of this project is sediment management. Since sediment is the main driver of creating coastal habitats such as eelgrass meadows and saltmarsh. And also, the sediment process is a very slow process that is compatible with the speed of sea-level rise. So, with reasonable artificial sediment management, the negative impact of sea-level rise can be greatly reduced.
Managing sediment can be implemented from two sides. One is increasing the amount of sediment that flows into the ocean from land and another is intercept sediments so that they are not washed away by ocean currents. In this project, the purpose of increasing sediment is achieved by transforming the coastal historical heritage landscape into more natural landscape such as water body, artificial saltmarsh to generate and transport sediment. The aim of catching sediments is achieved by designed sediment barrier matrixes in the tidal zone. These sediment barriers will recycle the material from the disused oil rigs in Cromarty Firth, making these ghost of the Anthropocene reborn in the future. With all these management tools, the intertidal zone will be lifted by the sediment and keep pace with the sea level rising speed so the eelgrass and saltmarsh will always stay in a shallow seawater condition and keep existing.
The transformed coastal historical heritage also plays an important role in the project. It not only helps to generate natural sediments but also helps to keep the specific characters of local historical landmarks. The transforming design aims to conserve the disappearing heritage under threats of sea-level rise. So, with the sediment management tools, these memorial sites find their ways to having eternal life.
Alness Bay is chosen as the detailed design site because of its special geological and historical status. Because it has the largest saltmarsh and intertidal habitat with very rich sediment sources. And also, the different kinds of world war II historical sites around the Alness Bay coastline are waiting to be conserved. So, it is a potential place to test the strategy of this project. The landscape designed for responding to sea-level rise should find a resilient way to have eternal life.