The coastal stretch between Esposende/Ofir is located in Minho littoral, northwestern coast of Portugal, but can be integrated in a wider geographic unit that extends from river Neiva mouth, in the north, to Apúlia, in the south, following a general orientation N-S and having a linear extension of ca. 13.5 km.
This coastal stretch is undergoing severe erosion and there are several areas at high risk due to erosion. Significant beach retreat and dune overtopping and breaching, frequently occur during winter. One direct consequence of the decreased width of beaches and dunes is the raise of the built-up areas vulnerability to erosion impacts; another is the flooding of good arable areas with salt water, and their consequent lost.
Some of those areas at risk were already submitted to coastal engineering interventions. The majority of these mitigation solutions is connected with the need to protect human development along the coast, which in most cases have wrongly developed since decades – many times to close to the shoreline.
The information gathered in this case study provides a good insight into the development pressures, coastal defences, and vulnerability at the coastal stretch of Esposende/Ofir.