Churchill Fellowship: First Stop Japan
Alessio Mariani’s Churchill Fellowship has commenced with the first stop in Japan, where he visited the Port and Airport Research Institute (PARI), located at the entrance of Tokyo Bay; and the Hazaki Oceanographic Research Station (HORS), on the Japanese east coast.
“The 430 metre pier is quite an impressive facility, with beach profiles and wave data collected weekly for more than two decades, it significantly contributes to the advancement of knowledge in coastal engineering research” Alessio said after visiting HORS facility.
During his visit, Alessio discussed beach erosion issues in Japan and related protection works with Dr Kuriyama, director of the Marine Environment and Engineering Department at PARI.
“It is interesting to observe that, with a land surface area over 20 times smaller than Australia, Japan has nevertheless a coastline of very similar length: 35,000 kilometres!” Alessio stated after the meetings at PARI.
Beach erosion is a major problem in Japan mainly due to the decrease in sediment supply from rivers and the enormous development on the coast, including the construction of port and coastal structures interrupting the natural sediment movement. It has only been since the late 70s and early 80s that coastal preservation started to play an important role, and sandy beaches were recognised as having a crucial function in disaster prevention (through wave energy dissipation) as well as for recreational use.
“There is a lot that Australia can learn from the Japanese coastal engineering history and from their experience with both traditional and innovative physical interventions to mitigate beach erosion” Alessio concluded.
Alessio’s next stop on his Churchill Fellowship journey will be Mississippi, USA.