Thursday, 5 June 2008

CZM End Test

The CZM end test was held on Wednesday 4/6/08. There were three sections to the test.

In the first section a comprehensive list of conflicts/pressure points in the coastal zone was drawn up. This included such things as tourist developments in tropical locations, offshore energy developments, marine fisheries and sea level rise.

The second section identified the possible participants in coastal zone conflict. These included relevant government departments, environmental groups, property developers, the oil and gas industry, community gruops etc.

The third section was a conflict resolution analysis of the development of the cruise ship terminal in Falmouth Docks and how a (hypothetical) Falmouth Maritime Forum (based on the existing Devon Maritme Forum) would help to resolve the conflicts arising from this development. The main conflict is between the environmental lobby and the shellfish industry on one hand and the developers (A&P) and local commercial and political interests on the other concerning the proposed dredging for the new terminal.

I intend to complete a third year at Plymouth University leading to a BSc (Hons) in Environmental Science (Marine Conservation) and go on to work in the field of marine conservation. Having spent ten years as a professional diving instructor this is something I have always aspired to, however completing this foundation degree has confirmed my interest in the wider marine environment and given me the tools to pursue a career in marine conservation actively. There are also post graduate opportunities in this field, particularly a masters program at the University of KwaZulu Natal in South Africa which as a South African I am particularly interested in. (

The answer to Life, the Universe and Everything is forty two.

What IS the question?

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Coastal Zone Management Weblog

This blog has been constructed as part of the CZM module of a Foundation Degree in Marine Environmental Management at Falmouth Marine School. In it I have attempted to:
  • Analyse the natural processes at work in the coastal zone.
  • Identify techniques for coastal protection.
  • Evaluate the effects of human intervention on coastal processes.
  • Appraise socio-economic and environmental factors in the development of the coastal zone.
  • Apply integrated coastal zone management techniques to a defined segment of the coastal zone.
  • Summarise the CZM lectures and field sessions.
  • Research and develop links on CZM.

Although this has been an ongoing project and some of the posts might seem a bit disjointed I hope I have provided enough links and research topics to provide a holistic view of the intricacies of Integrated Coastal Zone Management.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Oil Spill Response Exercise

On the 6th March 2008 a desk based training exercise indicating the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved in the mitigation, clean up and compensation of a spill of persistent oils from an oil tanker was played out by students and staff at Falmouth Marine School. This exercise was developed by the 2nd Year FdSc Marine Environmental Management students as part of their Environmental Policies B module to provide training to a conservation team comprising representatives from the National Trust, Cornwall Wildlife Trust and Natural England.

The training exercise was intended to provide these conservation bodies with a full briefing on all aspects of dealing with a catastrophic oil spill along the Cornish coastline. The main resource used to develop this exercise was the National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations (NCP) provided by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), a statutory agency of the United Kingdom government and the competent authority that responds to pollution from shipping and offshore installations in U.K. waters.

Planning and Research

On the 4th March 2008 a planning session was held at which the various responses to a maritime oil spill were examined in the context of the NCP. Tasks were assigned within the group, several of which corresponded with the framework provided by the NCP. This gave the group two days to research and develop the training exercise. The research roles and responsibilities assigned to the group were as follows;

Tony Arden – Coordination, general issues, initial information and scenario, forms and checklists.
Rowena Johnson – Level of response and salvage issues.
Lucas Lowe-Houghton – At sea response.
Amy Brock-Morgan – Harbour response.
John Deane – Shoreline response.
Ken McMullen – Environmental monitoring.
Matt Reed – Media relations.
Luke-Edwyn Marsh – Finance and prosecution.
Simon Pattenden – Compensation.
Joe Reavis – International cooperation and assistance.
Rory McPhee (lecturer) – Insurance and shipping regulation.

The command and control procedures for incident response, based on the NCP, are flexible and depend on the level of pollution or tier assigned to the individual incidents by the Counter Pollution and Response (CPR) Branch of the MCA. This is represented at a regional level by the duty Counter Pollution & Salvage Officer (CPSO) who is informed of any incidents by one of the 19 HM Coastguard (HMCG) stations around the UK.

In the UK, spills are categorised by the internationally adopted tier system. Tier one is a small operational spill employing local resources during any clean-up. Tier two is a medium sized spill, requiring regional assistance and resources. Tier three is a large spill, requiring national assistance and resources and the National Contingency Plan would be activated in this case.

Three main control centres would be set up:

A Salvage Control Unit (SCU) – Led by the Secretary of State’s Representative for Marine Salvage and Intervention (SOSREP), who oversees and approves any salvage operation and has statutory powers to intervene if necessary. The SOSREP can also impose a Total Exclusion Zone (TEZ) around the incident site. The SCU would coordinate and control salvage and refloating operations, emergency bunker transfers and if possible, movement to a shelter port for the damaged ship.

A Marine Response Centre (MRC) – Led by the MCA to coordinate all at-sea counter pollution and clean-up operations such as dispersal spraying, monitoring oil movement, oil recovery operations and the cleaning of oil recovery equipment. It would also liaise with the local harbourmaster to provide a harbour response.

A Shoreline Response Centre (SRC) – Led by the Local Authority with technical support from the MCA. This centre coordinates the shoreline clean-up operations, waste disposal and health and safety monitoring for workers, volunteers and sub-contractors. It would also liaise with the emergency services to provide a land based exclusion zone and support for clean up operations. It would also implement any local contingency plans held by the Local Authority.

An Environment Group provides expert environmental advice to all three specialist response centres including environmental impact assessments and data on threatened habitats and species. The Environment Group is made up of representatives of the statutory nature conservation body (in this case Natural England), the environmental regulator (Environment Agency), the local Wildlife Trust (Cornwall Wildlife Trust) and relevant fisheries departments (Cornwall Sea Fisheries Committee and the Marine Fisheries Agency). Other conservation bodies such as the National Trust, RSPB, Wildlife and Wetlands Trust etc. may also be invited to take part in an advisory capacity.

The Incident Scenario

At 0345 hours on the 6th March 2008 Falmouth Coastguard received a distress call from the FMS Grey Tuna (formerly the MV McPhee), a 49 377 tonne oil tanker. The vessel was adrift in Falmouth Bay and subsequently grounded at 0400 hours, 1000 metres south of Rosemullion Head, in the vicinity of August Rock, at 50o 06.2N 005o 04.4W. The cause of the incident was established as engine failure and possible human error as the ship was too close to land at the time. The duty CPSO was informed and declared a Tier 3 incident with activation of the NCP. The pollution incident control and SOSREP were activated at 0730 hours, along with the duty press relations officer.

The 36 man Russian and Phillippino crew were evacuated, with 2 casualties being airlifted by a Royal Navy SAR helicopter from RNAS Culdrose directly to Truro hospital at 0430 hours and the remainder by the Falmouth RNLI lifeboat to Falmouth Docks at 0630 hours. There were two harbour tugs standing by at Falmouth Docks and a Coastguard Emergency Towing Vessel (ETV) enroute from Penzance. Members of the SCU boarded the vessel at 0830 and initial reports stated that a spill of 200 tonnes of light crude from a pumping tank were in the water.

The current weather at 1000 hours 6th March 2008 (start of exercise) was a westerly wind at 16 knots with the tide dropping (high water 0414, low water 1055 1.1 metres, next high water 1641 4.9 metres).

The FMS Grey Tuna (master a Russian national, Josef Stalin) was registered in Liberia, gross tonnage 49 377, net tonnage 26 500, carrying 22 000 tonnes of light crude oil in 12 main tanks plus 500 tonnes of diesel fuel. She was enroute from Nigeria to Rotterdam and calling in to Falmouth to pick up more bunker fuel. A single bottom hull the vessels particulars were as follows; length 173.6m, beam 32.2m, draught 11.2m, 1x diesel motor driving 1x shaft with a top speed of 14 knots.

The vessel was owned by Global Transport of Monaco whose agents are Malaka SA of Pireaus, Greece and was bare boat chartered by Doe SA based in Monrovia, Liberia. The hull insurers were Lloyds of London. The cargo was owned by Shell of Rotterdam (agents De Groening of Rotterdam) and the third party insurers (P&I Club) were Steamship Mutual of London while the cargo was insured by Zurich in London.

This was the initial information available at the start of the exercise at 1000 hours on the 6th March 2008.

The Response

The exercise to respond to this pollution incident was initially straightforward with the spill limited to 200 tonnes of light crude washed ashore on the beach below Rosemullion Head, part of the Fal and Helford Special Area of Conservation (SAC). The command and control elements of the NCP were activated and the initial response was to establish a TEZ across Falmouth Bay and install boom defences (held by the Truro Harbourmaster) across the entrances to the Fal and Helford estuaries.

The SCU (established at the Falmouth Coastguard station) arranged for the transfer of the bulk cargo and diesel fuel to smaller vessels available from Falmouth Docks and the stricken vessel was refloated on the next high tide and towed into Falmouth harbour for repair. The MRC (also at the Falmouth Coastguard station) had vessels standing by in Falmouth Bay to monitor oil movement and any further spills and dispersant spray planes on standby to move to RNAS Culdrose if needed. The SRC (established at Rosemullion Head by Kerrier District Council) initiated the shoreline cleanup with resources provided by Kerrier and Carrick District Councils with an exclusion zone enforced by Devon and Cornwall Police. Advice on environmental impact was provided by the Environmental Group to all three response centres with the major impact being on the beach below Rosemullion Head where the majority of the oil came ashore.

Dealing with the aftermath of the incident was more complicated. Although compensation for the cleanup and salvage operations is available through the International Oil Pollution Compensation Funds, establishing a case for prosecution would be complicated by the Byzantine nature of the international shipping world. An inquiry into the incident might be able to establish whether the master was at fault by being too close inshore and the owners’ responsibility for maintenance on the power plant but the multiple interests involved and the foreign registration might make prosecution difficult. The use of a single bottomed ship is also against current regulations.

Lessons Learnt

The major lesson learnt from this exercise was the need for close cooperation and liaison between all the different organisations involved in dealing with an incident of this nature. The exercise itself was a good tool in understanding the various processes involved and familiarising the exercise participants with the command and control structure dictated by the NCP. The prepositioning of boom defences, dispersant spray, clean up materials and other resources is of vital importance in a situation where time is of the essence.

My initial brief for the counter-pollution exercise was co-ordination, general issues, initial information and scenario, forms and checklists. During the planning phase of the exercise I acted as group chair as the group developed the exercise. Subsequently I created the scenario for the exercise using "real world" information such as the vessel involved which is based on the RFA Oakleaf, a support tanker of the Royal Navy and topographic maps and marine charts. Most of the forms and checklists were obtained from the National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations (NCP). At the start of the exercise the scenario and checklists were distributed and I then acted as the group co-ordinator whilst the exercise was played through.

A need for a greater understanding of shipping law and the mechanisms for mitigation and prosecution were highlighted by the lack of a section of the exercise dealing with these issues. The mechanism for shipping insurance claims was not really made very clear although information on the compensation funding was available if a little complicated. These issues need to be addressed before this exercise is repeated for the target group of conservation organisations. The introduction of an umpire to control variables in the scenario as it plays through and access to resources such as maps, charts and the internet during game play are also of equal importance.


Maritime and Coastguard Agency Scientific, Technical and Operational Advice Notes [online];

STOp 2/94: Low Viscosity Type 3 Dispersants.
STOp 2/95: Operational Guidelines for the Application of Bioremediation Agents.
STOp 1/98: Health, Safety & Welfare during Shoreline Clean-up.
STOp 5/98: A National Framework for Dealing with Hazardous Containers Washed Up on the UK Shoreline.
STOp 5/99: Guidelines for the Preparation of Coastal and Estuarine Booming Plans.
INF 3/00: MCA Contacts for Local Authorities.
STOp 1/01: Maritime Pollution Response in the UK - the Environment Group.
STOp 2/01: The Establishment, Management Structure, Rolesand Responsibilities of a Shoreline Response Centre during a Maritime Pollution Incident in the United Kingdom.
STOp 4/01: Advice to Local Authorities on the Collection and Handling of Oil Samples.
STOp 1/2003: Guidance for the Operation of the Technical Team, Waste Management Sub Group within a National Contingency Plan Shoreline Response Centre.
STOp 3/2003: Preparing Local Authority Oil and Chemical Spill Contingency Plans in line with the 'National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations'.
STOp 1/2004: Implications of the EU Landfill Directive for Oily Waste Disposal.

All available at: [07.04.08].

National Contingency Plan for Marine Pollution from Shipping and Offshore Installations [online]. Available at: [04.04.08].

The International Regime for Compensation for Oil Pollution Damage [online]. Available at:

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Sea Level Rise in Cornwall

“Rises in sea levels could have a major impact upon communities in coastal and estuarine areas.” (The State of the Cornish Environment, 2002)

Changes in global temperatures over a long term timescale result in changes in sea-level, mainly through thermal expansion of the ocean and the melting of land ice. Over the past 100 years the world has warmed by about 0.5°C (Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia). Due to increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the world will be a warmer place in the future. Predictions of the extent of sea level rise are varied but no matter what the level, the coastline of Cornwall will be affected.

Climate change causes sea levels to rise in two main ways. Water expands as it warms. As the globe warms up, so do the seas and as they expand the sea level rises. This is thought by scientists to be the most dominant factor in sea level change. The second most important factor is melting land ice. Water in glaciers has been trapped as ice for thousands of years and when the glaciers melt the water enters the sea and the sea level rises.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published its Fourth Assessment in 2007. The main conclusions drawn were as follows.

1.Warming of the climate system is unequivocal.
2.Most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic (human) greenhouse gas concentrations.
3.Anthropogenic warming and sea level rise will continue for centuries due to the timescales associated with climate processes and feedbacks, even if greenhouse gas concentrations were to be stabilized, although the likely amount of temperature and sea level rise varies greatly depending on the fossil fuel burning intensity of human activity during the next century.
4.The probability that this is caused by natural climatic processes alone is less than 5%.
World temperatures could rise by between 1.1 and 6.4 °C during the 21st century.
5.Sea levels will probably rise by 18 to 59 cm.
6.There is a confidence level of more than 90% that there will be more frequent warm spells, heat waves and heavy rainfall.
7.There is a confidence level of more than 66% that there will be an increase in droughts, tropical cyclones and extreme high tides.
8.Both past and future anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions will continue to contribute to warming and sea level rise for more than a millennium.
9.Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide have increased markedly as a result of human activities since 1750 and now far exceed pre-industrial values over the past 650,000 years.

Some critics have contended that the IPCC reports tend to underestimate dangers, understate risks, and report only the "lowest common denominator" findings (McKibben, 2007). It may already be out of date and omits recent observations and factors contributing to global warming, such as the release of greenhouse gases from thawing tundra. Some other studies estimate that in 2100 sea levels could be 0.5–1.4 m above 1990 levels (

The South West could see the highest sea level rise in Britain with a rise of between 20cm to 80cm by 2080. Mean sea level at Newlyn has risen 15cm since 1915 (NTSLF, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory). Mean wave height has increased from 1.8m in 1962 to 2.3m today. The predicted changes in sea level are dramatic and are at their most extreme at the western tip of Cornwall. The National Trust believe managed retreat may be the only solution for some low lying areas e.g. Marazion. The UK Climate Change Impact Programme (UKCIP) predicts extreme sea levels (spring tides, storm surges etc.) will be experienced more often and storm frequency is expected to increase with over 50% more winter low pressure systems crossing the UK.

Taking all these factors into consideration sea level rise in Cornwall should be taken as a given and attention should turn to mitigating the effects and resulting impacts on the coastline. Such impacts may include increased coastal erosion, higher storm-surge flooding, more extensive coastal inundation, changes in surface water quality and groundwater characteristics, increased loss of property and coastal habitats, increased flood risk and potential loss of life, loss of cultural resources, impacts on agriculture and aquaculture through decline in soil and water quality, and loss of tourism, recreation and transportation. However appropriate management techniques are still being formulated and would appear to fall into two categories, coastal defence (hard engineering) or managed retreat (soft engineering).

Many countries (such as the Netherlands) have a single controlling authority for coastal management which can treat the coastal zone as a whole, with the foreshore, hinterland and offshore areas being parts of a single unit within which occur a complex series of interactions. This is not the case in the United Kingdom. Coastal defence in the UK is the responsibility of local authorities (in this case Cornwall County Council) with some support supplied by the Environment Agency (part of DEFRA). Although Cornwall County Council recognises the fact of sea level rise it does not seem to have any concrete plans to deal with it. This could be due to several factors but the overriding factors would seem to be the financial cost of mitigation, whether through hard or soft engineering, and the lack of central government guidance. Vulnerable areas have been identified but the management options are still being developed.

Sea Level Rise in Cornwall. (
Sea Level Rise in the Fal Estuary (

However, hard engineered coastal defences such as offshore breakwaters, seawalls and embankments might not be the only option.

“There is no guarantee that hard defences work in the long term: they are often only a temporary solution. As sea levels rise and severe storms increase, it will become ever more difficult and expensive to build and maintain strong defences. They can also disfigure the coast and cause environmental harm by moving the problem to another location. We believe therefore that hard defences should only be used as a last resort.” (National Trust, 2005)

This illustrates the approach to managed retreat that is increasingly being adopted by NGO’s such as the National Trust, Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Wildlife and Wetlands Trust etc. By working with nature instead of against it and managing the retreat from the advancing sea by creating space along the coastline such as salt marshes and sand dunes to act as natural sea defences, they believe that wildlife and habitats can be protected. At the same time these natural coastal defences would enhance the protection already provided to infrastructure and housing. The National Trust believes this is likely to be the most realistic and cost-effective approach over the long term.

The National Trust is Britain’s largest coastal landowner. With 1130 kilometres of coastline the Trust now owns nearly 10% of the coast of England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Of this they have identified 169 sites along some 608 kilometres (60%) of National Trust-owned coastline which could lose land by erosion. Nearly 10% of this loss could be between 100-200 metres inland and 5% more could be losses of over 200 metres inland. Of the sites identified, 126 (with land covering 4040 hectares) are currently at risk from tidal flooding with a further 33 low-lying sites at risk of combined tidal and river flooding within the next 100 years. Looking at these figures it can be seen that the National Trust’s response to sea level rise could have a significant impact on local and national government policy. Five key areas were identified. (Taken from Shifting Shores: Living with a Changing Coastline, 2005. The National Trust)

“1. Long-term planning is essential. To adapt effectively to sea-level rise and climate change we need to plan at least 50 to 100 years ahead. In many cases it will be necessary to relocate people, habitats and buildings and to do so cost-effectively requires early action. The future is inherently unpredictable, even more so with climate change and a dynamic coastal environment, so we need to allow flexibility in our management and planning.

2. Think and act in a wider context. The boundaries of the Trust’s coastal sites take no account of the real boundaries of the coastal cells in which coastal processes operate. In order to take a flexible and responsive approach to dealing with coastal change, we need to think and act in a much wider spatial context, managing our sites within freshwater catchments and coastal cells.

3. Work with nature not against it. Our experience has demonstrated that working with natural processes is the most sustainable approach. In some cases this will mean undoing past mistakes, taking out hard defences and letting the coast realign naturally. In others we will need to phase our approach, buying time with temporary solutions while finding space to allow natural defences to form.

4. Solutions need partnership. We cannot operate in isolation as the decisions we make nearly always impact beyond the immediate site. Tackling the problems facing our sites also requires action by others, especially neighbouring coastal owners and managers. Finding mutually beneficial solutions like large-scale realignment projects requires a strong partnership approach.

5. Involving the public is critical. Raising awareness of the impacts on our coastal sites is vital to winning public confidence. Any form of realignment of the coast can create uncertainty and even hostility. Building consensus and providing information takes time and effort, but is crucial to finding sustainable solutions.” (National Trust, 2005)

So what are the options for managing the effects of sea level rise on Cornwall’s coastline? Most of the major population centres are in the coastal zone – Falmouth, Penryn, Truro, Penzance, St. Ives, Newquay, Bude and St. Austell. They contain a large proportion of the urban population and housing in Cornwall as well as major infrastructure (e.g. Falmouth docks), centres of education and local government, cultural and historical areas, retail centres and areas of regeneration and development. Managed retreat from these locations would be prohibitively expensive, legally ambiguous and socially disruptive.

Most already have some form of hard coastal defence which could be added to and maintained with help from central government. As these would be major civil engineering projects they would provide employment and investment opportunities in a region of high unemployment.

At the same time the option of managed retreat and the creation of natural coastal defences could be instituted for the rest of Cornwall’s coastline. Areas such as the Fal estuary, with its salt marshes and St. Ives Bay, with a well established dune system are ideal for establishing the management systems required. These could then be applied to other areas of the coastline.

Although this would still require large expenditures, these would be cheaper than large scale hard engineering and have the added benefit of providing protection to wildlife and existing habitats and creating new habitats.By combining the two approaches to mitigating sea level rise a viable management system could be developed to maintain a sustainable economy and society in Cornwall. Whether the political will and financial resources to implement such a system exist is another question.

Friday, 28 March 2008

Sea Level Rise - References and links

Douglas, B.C., et al, 2000. Sea Level Rise: History and Consequences. Burlington MA: Academic Press.

French, P.W., 1997. Coastal and Estuarine Management. Abingdon: Routledge.

Houghton, J., 1994. Global Warming: The Complete Briefing. Oxford: Lion Publishing.

Kay, R. & Alder, J., 1999. Coastal Planning and Management. New York: Routledge.

Warrick, R.A., et al, 1993. Climate and Sea Level Change: Observations, Projections and Implications. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Climate Change and Sea Level Rise, 2004. Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia [online]. Available at: [03.02.08].

Fourth Assessment Report, 2007. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [online]. Available at: [04.02.08].

McKibben, B., 2007. Warning on Warming. The New York Review of Books [online]. 54(4). Available at: [03.02.08].

National Tidal and Sea Level Facility. Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory [online]. Available at: [04.02.08].

Sea level rise 'under-estimated'. 2006 [online]. Available at: [04.02.08].

Shifting Shores: Living with a Changing Coastline, 2005. The National Trust [online]. Available at: [02.02.08].

State of the Cornish Environment, 2002. Cornwall County Council [online]. Available at: [03.02.08].

Monday, 10 March 2008

Coastal Defences

The coastal zone is a dynamic area of natural change and of increasing human use. It occupies less than 15% of the earth's land surface; yet accommodates more than 50% of the worlds population (it is estimated that 3.1 billion people live within 200 kilometres from the sea). Coastal zones contain rich resources to produce goods and services and are home to most commercial and industrial activities.
In the European Union, almost half of the population now lives within 50 kilometres of the sea and coastal zone resources produce much of the Union’s economic wealth. The fishing, shipping and tourism industries all compete for vital space along Europe’s estimated 89 000 kilometres of coastline, and coastal zones contain some of Europe’s most fragile and valuable natural habitats.

Coastal protection is already extremely important where there are extensive low-lying areas that require protection (e.g.Venice, New Orleans, and the Netherlands).

Protection against the sea level rise in the 21st century will be especially important, as it is currently accelerating. This will be a challenge to coastal management, since seawalls and breakwaters are generally expensive to construct, and the costs to build protection in the face of sea-level rise would be enormous.

Strategies for coastal defense

1. Do nothing, adding no protection and leading to eventual abandonment.
2. Managed retreat or realignment, which plans for retreat and adopts engineering solutions that recognise natural processes of adjustment, and identifying a new line of defence.
3. Hold the line with shoreline protection, whereby sea defences are constructed around the coastlines.
4. Move seawards, by constructing new defenses to seaward of the original ones.
5. Limited intervention by which adjustments are made to be able to cope with inundation such as creating salt marsh areas, raising coastal land and building vertically.

The decision to choose a strategy is site-specific, depending on pattern of relative sea-level change, geomorphological setting, sediment availability and erosion, as well a series of social, economic and political factors.

Alternatively, integrated coastal zone management approaches may be used to prevent development in erosion- or flood-prone areas to begin with. Growth management can be a challenge for coastal local authorities who often struggle to provide the infrastructure required by new residents

Groynes, seawalls, revetments, rock armour, gabions, offshore breakwaters, cliff stabilisation, river entrance training walls and floodgates are all examples of hard coastal defences. Soft defences include beach nourishment, sand dune stabilisation and beach drainage schemes.

The Centre for Coastal Processes, Engineering and Management (part of the University of Southampton) states that "a full 15 000 km of UK coastline is presently under threat from erosion; a further 10 000 hectares of land is at risk from flooding and 13 000 hectares is predicted to disappear in the next 20 years. The responsible, informed protection and management of our coastline is vital: 50% of the world's ecosystems are found in the coastal zone. Despite the need for protection and good husbandry, virtually all UK exports/imports pass through ports on estuaries, contributing a massive £50 billion per year to the economy (5% of the entire UK GDP). The way we treat the coastline is therefore of fundamental importance to the future of the UK."

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Integrated Coastal Zone Management

Integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) is a process for the management of the coast using an integrated approach, regarding all aspects of the coastal zone, including geographical and political boundaries, in an attempt to achieve sustainability.

This concept was initiated in 1992 during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. The policy regarding ICZM is set out in the proceedings of the summit within Agenda 21, Chapter 17.
The European Commission defines the ICZM as follows:-

ICZM is a dynamic, multidisciplinary and iterative process to promote sustainable management of coastal zones. It covers the full cycle of information collection, planning (in its broadest sense), decision making, management and monitoring of implementation. ICZM uses the informed participation and cooperation of all stakeholders to assess the societal goals in a given coastal area, and to take actions towards meeting these objectives. ICZM seeks, over the long-term, to balance environmental, economic, social, cultural and recreational objectives, all within the limits set by natural dynamics. 'Integrated' in ICZM refers to the integration of objectives and also to the integration of the many instruments needed to meet these objectives. It means integration of all relevant policy areas, sectors, and levels of administration. It means integration of the terrestrial and marine components of the target territory, in both time and space.

European Commision Coastal Zone Policy

ENCORA CoastalWiki - EU Co-ordination Action on ICZM

Safecoast - Knowledge exchange on coastal flooding and climate change in the North Sea region

ICZM principles