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Regional Coastal Monitoring Programmes

Programme Aims

"A strategic regional coastal monitoring programme for the North West of England, to provide freely available data of consistently high quality to inform coastal management and future strategy".

The maritime Local Authorities, North West and North Wales Coastal Group (Cell 11) and the Environment Agency are working with a collective vision, to develop a long-term, region wide coastal process monitoring and analysis programme.

Following many years of ad-hoc monitoring of coastal processes within the North West, an extensive integrated survey programme was developed to cover approx. 1000km of open coastline and estuaries between the Dee Estuary (Welsh border) and the Solway Firth (Scottish border).The programme is currently funded for three years until March 2011, but with an expectation that the programme will continue indefinitely. It is 100% grant aided by the Environment Agency. Funding commenced in April 2008. The programme has been designed in a very similar format to that formulated for the South East Strategic Regional Coastal Monitoring Programme.

The primary objectives of the monitoring programme are:

  • To improve understanding of coastal process behaviour and how those processes interact with the shoreline.
  • To assist in the definition of the magnitude of risks of coastal flooding and erosion and to provide data to support re-evaluation of those risks in the future.
  • To assist coastal managers by providing them with relevant information on which to make sustainable future shoreline management decisions.

The programme will maintain close links and look to collaborate with the Welsh authorities that are within Cell 11 when undertaking any monitoring activities. It is hoped in the near future that a funding package for the Welsh authorities will be secured for their coastal monitoring.

Large quantities of data will be made freely available from the survey and analysis programme; this is expected to be useful to Local Authorities within the region, the Environment Agency, consultants in coastal defence, conservation management, academic research and for educational purposes.

A specialist team has been established at Sefton Council to manage the programme and develop the data analysis, storage and dissemination procedures. All data collected by the programme and analysis reports will be made available via this website, which also acts as the data storage facility for the North West coastal monitoring programme.