Facing potential coastal disasters such as storm surges, storm waves, and tsunamis, Japan has planned the construction of coastal structures such as seawalls or breakwaters along its coastal areas. However, some conflicts exist among the public whether such constructions should be undertaken or whether the natural coast should be conserved. This study uses a choice experiment to investigate opinions of coastal citizens about (1) the acceptable loss of coastal wildlife species as a tradeoff for seawalls; (2) the willingness to pay (WTP) for conservation of coastal wildlife as a compromise for disaster risk reduction; (3) the influence on popular preferences in coastal management of individual characteristics, such as frequency of visiting the sea and public recognition of disaster risk; and (4) civil trust in scientific information. The survey was conducted among 7496 respondents in municipalities around the Japanese coast. As a result, the acceptable loss of coastal wildlife species was 18.7 %. The marginal WTP for conserving the coastal wildlife was 680.95 JPY per percent in the number of species per capita. We found that people who frequently visit the sea preferred ecosystem conservation and disliked seawall construction, whereas people strongly recognizing disaster risks preferred seawall construction. Furthermore, we found that civil trust in scientific information affects civil preferences regarding coastal management. Our study indicates the need to reduce negative effects of coastal constructions on coastal ecosystems and to consider other options, such as ecosystem-based disaster risk reduction. It also indicates the social influences of raising public trust in scientific information to enable citizens to make better decisions regarding coastal management.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Water Science and Technology
- Atmospheric Science
- Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)