Thursday, 5 June 2008

End of year CZM test

In summary of the end of year exam I coastal zone management, the exam was a two hour, blue sky thinking massacre. The first question was on the conflicts and pressures with the marine coastal zone, such as fishing, recreation, industry, business and human intervention. I was looking at these points as they a huge impact on the coastal environment and have to be considered. Question two looked at the parties involved when looking and solving these debates including; stakeholders, businesses, organisations, tourism and interest groups. Question three looked at the undertaking of an actual or fictional conflict producing a resolution analysis.

My career aspirations are as yet unforeseen; however my attitude has always to do something that makes a difference instead of just campaigning or being part of an organisation that just highlights issues which are already apparent and in the public eye. Therefore my future ambitions lie in renewable energy, natural energy and new sources of fuel. I am currently applying for a degree at Exeter in Renewable energy. This is very different to the jobs/career path I had when first enrolled on this course (marine biologist- although I still have a great deal of interest in this field)

For post graduate level work, I have looked at a few courses but nothing concrete. Such as the course offered by Southampton university in Shipping and the environment and of courses offered by Exeter in renewable energy and sustainable energy offered by Brunel university.

Post graduate -

Jobs -§or=ren


Monday, 12 May 2008

Law of the sea

When looking at coast zone management, it is very important that you know which laws an area of the sea/coastline abide by, there fore it is vital to understand the different zonations concerning the ocean;

  • UNCLOS - (1982) United Nations Convention for Law of the Sea, controls everything within this sector, all countries are part of the treaty

taken from, this diagram shows the zoneations of the different legal zones.

  • The high seas are for the benefit of every one, therefore no one owns them. However if an offshore vessel plays part in criminal activity then this is delt with the flag state of the vessel. when using waters owned by countries then, in most cases access is granted as long as they abide by the local laws.
  • The contiguous zone is an area where there is a small amount of land laws applying to the ocean, these inclued smuggling and immigration. Foreign fishing vessels have to abide by the common fisheries policy;
  • The exclusive economic zone (EEZ) within a country has the rights to extract; gas, fish and internal mineral. it can be expanded depending on the location of the Continental shelf
  • FUNDUS- is the ownership of the sea bed, between the intertidal zone an the deep sea.

A few notes on dredging the sea bed

  • It is thought that capital dredging causes coastal erosion, there for an area that is being dredged for profit is constantly being replenished by material that was most likely not included in the original contract.
  • Similarly, maintenance dredging ( dredging to clear harbours, ports etc) is a constant process, needing to be done every few year or even months. This throughs up many a question; the primary ones being linked to the effect on wildlife (during the dredging, but also the damages done when discharging the sediment back into the sea) and whether is maintenance dredging causing Beach's and coastlines to slip into the sea.
  • is a campaging group concerned with the impact of off shore and coastal dredging, on the coastal zone.
  • There are 11companies concerned with dredging, 8 of these 11 are members of the British Marine Aggregate Producers Association (BMAPA) their website is;
  • The local Harbour authorities control the dredging of materials for maintenance purposes
  • The coastal protection act (1949) also controls the dredging of materials where there are no local authorities or behind the harbour limits.
  • the Food and environment protection act (1985) controls and decides where the maintenance dredged sediment is discharged.
  • DEFRA has to give consent for all dredging

Notes taken form Rory Mcphee's lecture ant Falmouth Marine School.

A overview of ICZM in the UK

Integrated Coastal zone management aims to “integrate” the different polices that have been put into place and also those that have had implications on the coastline. It aims to bring together all those concerned, to inform, support and imply these polices. The Stock take report was published in 2004 and can be found by following the link below;

Throughout the 90’s the European commission funded the “demonstration Programme” which identified a series of environment and social issues that needed to be addresses these include

habitat destruction
loss of fish stocks and biodiversity
economic decline
and social deprivation

The report out lines how they have effectively communicated the “ICZM” name and issues to a number of different sectors. And outline the areas that have been chosen to progress and develop of the coming years. The European commission’s website (below) has all the current and up to date developments concerning the ICZM progress and aims.

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Climate change affecting UK's coastal wildlife

Below is a summary of the key notes taken from an article by Jessica Aldred published in the Guardian on the 14th April 2008. The full article can be found at this address;

Figure 1 taken from-

· A diverse range of wildlife along Britain's coastline will be affected by flooding and coastal erosion in the next 100 years, conservationists warned today
· Research from the National Trust forecasts "dramatic changes" that will put at risk native wildlife along Britain's 9,040 miles of coastline and herald the arrival of new foreign species.
· Basking sharks, the little egret and Glanville fritillary butterfly are all set to thrive as the climate gets warmer in Britain, while two species of tern, the grey seal and the Sandhill rustic moth are all at risk of habitat loss,
· "Our research has shown that our coastline is seeing a huge amount of change. This is having, and will have, a major impact on the wildlife and habitats that stretch all the way around our coast”- Adrian Woodhall
· Basking sharks, which are found along the west coast of England, Ireland, Wales and Scotland, are among the species that the trust predicts will flourish in a warmer climate. It says the sharks are increasingly being found along the east coast of England, in areas where the blooms of plankton it feeds on have moved to because of warmer, cleaner seas. Last year, for the first time, trust wardens reported seeing two basking sharks off the Coast of Farne Island in Northumberland.
· Internationally important breeding colonies of terns that nest close to the sea edge are at risk from rising sea levels and increasing stormy weather, as sea levels rise due to climate change, the isolated shingle beaches that grey seals favor to give birth to their pups in the autumn will become narrower. Grey seals must breed above the high-tide mark and with less space above the tide line the pups are at risk of being washed away, according to the research.
· Dr David Bullock, the head of nature conservation at the National Trust, "In the future the focus of nature conservation will have to be on making space for nature to move around the wider landscape and not just within the current protected areas," Britain has 9,040 miles of coast, 2,500 of which are in England.
· The long-awaited draft marine bill, the government announced plans for a network of new marine nature reserves that will protect endangered species and habitats along Britain's coastline. marine conservation zones will have clear goals to ensure that some types of fishing, dredging or other forms of development do not damage protect habitats and species of national importance.
· The government has said it wants to see the zones in place by 2012, with varying levels of protection for individual sites. Measures to give people the freedom to walk along the English coast for the first time were also included.

other interesting sites concerning the effect of climate change on wild life are as follows this includes some very interesting information about Alien marine invaders

Saturday, 10 May 2008

What natural processes shape and put the coastal environment at risk.

Probably the fore most factors when looking into the coastal environment, is erosion. This can consist of visible erosion, which is cliff erosion from the top down, crumbling rock and land slides are common, visible erosion is usually due to underlying erosion that we can not see, the best explanation of this can be found at the BBB bitesize web site linked below. There are four main types o erosion;
Hydraulic action – where the motion of a body of water wears away the river bank from underneath
Attrition - rocks being carried by the tide, currents or other oceanic movements, smashing together and breaking into smaller particles
Abrasion - rocks carried along by the body of water wearing down over time against the sea bed, banks, cliffs and other rocks.
Solution - smaller particles are dissolved into the water, by a movement of friction.
Erosion can be caused by a number of things, of which; wave action, movement of rocks and sand, weathering and of cause sea level rise (SLR).
There have been many negative affects and as the public and conservation trusts are accepting that, although in some areas it is required that the nation’s best efforts are used to project an area, it is some times required that a controlled retreat is required. For a comprehensive action plan for the future concerning sea level rise the nation trust link listed below is by far the best I have com across.
The idea behind coastal defence is to reduce the risks of people and the environment from flooding and coastal erosion by encouraging the provision of technology, producing economical and sustainable defensive measures. The issue s of coastal defence are controlled and the responsibility of DEFRA (the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) – their website also listed below can provide an in-depth review and conclusion into Coastal defence.
Within the topic of Coastal defence fall’s Coastal protection. Coastal protection authorities (CPA’s), can carry out, if they chose to do so and if it is within national interest, work to protect and preserve the coastline from erosion. This work can include anything from, construction, alteration, improvement, and repair to demolition and removal. Private owners also my chose to protect the coastline purely to protect their assets, this could be anything from landowners to network rail.

The main legislation coastal defence and protection are as flows
Coastal protection; Coastal protection Act 1949
Flood Defences; Water Resources act 1991
Land Drainage Act 1991
Water Act 2003
Environment agency duties; Environment 1995

Tuesday, 5 February 2008

Absract on SLR

“I think the environment should be put in the category of our national security. Defence of our resources is just as important as defence abroad. Otherwise what is there to defend?”
~Robert Redford, Yosemite National Park dedication, 1985

The above quote sparked a fire in my heart a few months back, it can literally be transferred to mean may things in a variety of politic issues, However when given the essay title of sea level rise and the effects that it will cause on our communities, specifically Cornwall. It has opened my eyes to an issue that I new was happening however I did not know to the extent of how precariously the earths natural balance is/ was and how even thou there are campaigners sacrificing the little things, the things we don’t necessarily need in order to do there part. There are 1000 people in their place who are set in there ways determined to destroy our home. the ‘Mass Balance’ theory has simply fallen out of balance and considering the warm spot in global time that we are currently in, it is only going to carry on warming until the natural breaking point were the human race will simply be shaken off (extinct) allowing a new ice age to proceed. Understandably the human efforts to destroy and upset the natural balance has not helped this process creating holes in the ozone and massive build ups of CO2 emissions and excess water vapour within our atmosphere which has considerably hindered our own existence.
So SLR seems to be a bit of a problem the, that’s established in my eyes and if you are still a non-believer so to speak, take five minutes, browse through the internet and read up, and suffer the hours of sleepless thought that follows it. Then you pick yourself up and join the rest of us on thinking about the necessary approach that is needed to combat this problem. There is huge amounts of vagueness surrounding this topic Estimates of SLR and the anticipated implications differ between every website and books are out of date before they have even reached the publishers. I think this confusion is a reflection of the governments and the related organisations complete lack of truth and detailed knowledge surrounding this subject. I think that progress can only be made when there is knowledge of which direction to progress in. This progression, co-in-siding with existing policies and regulation will produce the final result of a management plan, incorporating and hopefully solving all aspects of the impacts.