Deep water port Wilhelmshaven (Photo: Sabine Billerbeck)
Focused object of coastal research is the coast, which means the specific parts of land and sea, which are defined by proximity and therefore significantly influenced by each other. Thus coastal research is a distinct science field of knowledge - neither part of oceanography nor of geography, though there is a close relationship to both of them.
Coastal systems are under constant pressure from short and long term natural influences, including erosion or sea level rise due to climate change, and from human endeavours, for example, transportation, land use patterns, tourism, etc. As a means to identify the potential for change, sustainability, and adaptation, coastal research provides the tools, assessments, and scenarios for managing this vulnerable landscape.