Coastal zone management

At the present time, and partly because of the difficulties experienced with marine site protection, more emphasis is being placed on management of the marine environment as a whole. Protected sites are more likely to achieve their aims if

Figure 10.4 Lundy Marine Nature Reserve zoning scheme. The map distributed to reserve users is in colour which makes interpretation quick and easy.

(By kind permission of English Nature. Map based on Admiralty Chart 1164 with the permission of the controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office © Crown Copyright.)

Figure 10.4 Lundy Marine Nature Reserve zoning scheme. The map distributed to reserve users is in colour which makes interpretation quick and easy.

(By kind permission of English Nature. Map based on Admiralty Chart 1164 with the permission of the controller of Her Majesty's Stationery Office © Crown Copyright.)

Figure 10.5 Humberside coast and estuary. Despite sediment interchange between coast, estuary and North Sea, management plans are largely independent of each other. (From Pethick, J. in Earll, R.C. 1995 by kind permission of Dr R.C. Earll.)

Figure 10.5 Humberside coast and estuary. Despite sediment interchange between coast, estuary and North Sea, management plans are largely independent of each other. (From Pethick, J. in Earll, R.C. 1995 by kind permission of Dr R.C. Earll.)

they are part of a much wider system of management measures. One such wider system is the concept of coastal zone management (CZM). This aims to look at the coastline and associated areas and devise management policies and action that will integrate human use on a sustainable basis.

The problem with CZM in the UK is that the coastline, including all the major offshore islands, extends for a distance of at least 14 500 km and is extremely diverse in terms of habitats. There is an equally varied human usage of the coast. This makes it difficult to assess the influence of human activity and CZM tends to be fragmented.

Many different local authorities and other agencies are responsible for the management of our coastline and shores. Often a great deal of effort is put in by these authorities and their scientists, to produce, for example, shoreline management plans (SMPs), catchment management plans (CMPs) and estuary management plans (EMPs). However problems arise because each authority tends to look only at their particular stretch of coast and there is a lack of integrated planning. On the Humberside coast and estuary, for example, there is extensive sediment interchange between the Holderness coast, the Humber Estuary and the North Sea, but there are at least three management plans for the area which are largely independent of one another (Pethick in Earll, 1995).

Ever since people first started to build substantial sea defences, there have been classic examples where the building of, for instance, an extensive sea wall to provide safe anchorage along one stretch of coast starves the adjacent stretch of sediment and causes considerable erosion and loss of shore habitats. Examples can still be seen today. There is thus a need in this country, and others with similar problems, to adopt a formal integrated structure for coastal zone management. The key ideas behind CZM and the current situation (1995) in the UK are summarized in MCS (1996).

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