Coastal and Estuarine Management

Coastal and Estuarine Management

Coastal and Estuarine Management

Coastal and Estuarine Management

Synopsis

French examines the issues surrounding the human use and abuse of estuarine and coastal environments, explaining the ways in which conservation and management policies and practices can protect this productive and diverse ecosystem.

Excerpt

This book is intended to provide undergraduates studying coastal and estuarine processes with a solid grounding in the ways in which human activities impact on these environments. These impacts take many forms; some are direct, and some are indirect. Throughout history, humans have interfered with coasts and estuaries, with, until fairly recently, little understanding of the wider implications of what they are doing. This book aims to inform readers of these wider issues, and, in addition, of the alternative approaches which, while not necessarily being impact free themselves, do provide a better and more sustainable approach to managing the coastline.

The key words throughout are sediments and pollution because every impact can be brought down to one of these common denominators. Pollution can affect wildlife, habitats, and our enjoyment of the coast. Sediment is the basic building block that determines whether a coast is accreting, eroding, or stable.

Taking these two common factors, the book looks at the main issues affecting the coastline. Having seen how the coast and estuaries operate, and the type of habitats which result from the various forms of coastal process, we look in detail at coastal defences, industrial development, and tourism. It is important to consider, however, that it is possible to affect coastal processes indirectly, by interfering with catchments, land use, and offshore conditions. in recognition of this, we also discuss the impact of distant activities.

In a world where coastal management methods are rapidly developing, and much of the coast is becoming affected by a variety of coastal plans, the issue of coastal management is the subject of an important concluding chapter to look at how all the impacts discussed are being managed.

Before we proceed further, it is necessary to develop an understanding of some of the key concepts which are used in this book. the coast is not static, and is constantly changing in response to waves, winds, and tides. It is important to realise

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