Coastal Zone Management and Planning

The coastlines of the Caribbean are known for their clear blue waters, sandy beaches and lush, tropical landscapes. The ecosystems here are rich in biodiversity, but fragile. They also are home to human activities such as development, tourism and industry. This coexistence of humans and natural resources can lead to conflicting demands on the coastal zone. Coastal zone management (CZM) is the process of balancing environmental, economic, social, cultural, and recreational objectives while respecting natural coastal dynamics.

A well-developed, comprehensive plan offers guidance in the design of sustainable protection from coastal erosion and measures to minimize flood risk. Proper shoreline management planning ensures that development of the shoreline does not endanger future generations nor impose an unmanageable financial burden in terms of coastal defence works. We provide solutions that stabilise and protect shorelines using nature-based measures such as dune restoration and mangrove planting wherever possible.

Climate Resilience Services

Our vision is for resilient coasts that enable shoreline and waterfront development for thriving economies, social well-bring, and robust ecosystems in a changing climate. We offer ecosystem-based approaches to design including:

  • Ridge-to-reef planning
  • Wetland restoration and rehabilitation
  • Constructed wetlands
  • Dune construction and stabilisation

We use soft and hybrid engineering options whenever possible to address a changing climate and rising seas. Such measures might include coastal zoning, setbacks, beach nourishment, artificial reefs, or wetland restoration.


Smith Warner International Limited is a member of the Climate Technology Centre and Network.

Natural Hazard and Shoreline Change Mapping

In the Caribbean, understanding hurricane risk is vital. Developing and using the best available methods and technology to quantify that  risk has always been a core competence of ours. Our parametric model HURWave allows us to quickly evaluate and confidently quantify the risk of hurricanes anywhere in the Caribbean. Our services include natural hazard mapping, coastal erosion and flood risk assessment, mitigation planning, coastal resilience programs, and shoreline change mapping.