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Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes

Climate change and sea-level rise pose a significant threat to the coast, including increased coastal erosion and flooding. To ensure coastal resilience it is important to anticipate change and develop strategic proactive management plans. These need to consider the physical and socio-economic dimensions of the coast and its changes. They also need to recognise historical legacy and work with change where appropriate, allowing for rapid directed and slow progressive transitions.

Photo by Sally Brown, University of Southampton.

Taking the current Shoreline Management Planning (SMP) framework as a starting point, we are developing new methods to enhance coastal resilience. This takes a strongly participatory approach and involves three key steps.

  • Review the current strengths and weakness of SMPs (including liaising with the current SMP2-Refresh)
  • Develop new strategic options for shoreline management, taking a resilience perspective
  • Demonstrate the utility of these methods on selected case studies.

We are questioning how socio-economic change, including planning, can be better integrated into shoreline management planning. The ultimate aim is to develop better coastal risk management policies and practices, including devising a comprehensive set of indicators of coastal resilience.

What are we doing?

In June and July 2019 a series of workshops were held in London, Havant and York to discuss shoreline management planning today, and the challenges faced in a changing climate.

These workshops were attended by coastal managers, engineers, coastal process scientists, heritage experts, environmentalists, planners, academics, councillors, government representatives and consultations spanning 45 organisations, representing all of England and Wales at both national and regional levels.

These are informing and will be integrated with ongoing work including analysis of large coastal datasets around England and Wales, a review of existing adaptation and resilience frameworks, and the development of new strategic options for shoreline management consistent with enhancing resilience. The application of these methods will be demonstrated in three case studies.

A final workshop will be held on the 7th November 2019 to present the results of the project and reflect on the findings.

Who's Involved:

CoastalRes is a collaborative project between the University of Southampton, University College London, Middlesex University and the Channel Coastal Observatory.


Project partners include ABPmer, the Coastal Group Network, National trust, RSPB, Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, National Flood Forum, Natural England and Network Rail.