The End

The end of year exam was an exercise in summing up everything we have covered over the last year, but not only that but it tied in topics covered in other subjects, really highlighting the cross overs between each subject, thus the reason for studying a degree in Marine Environmental Management. The emphasis of the exam was on Conflict Resolution and solutions for pressures on the Coastal Zone, by using the Devon maritime Forum as a template ideas for solutions were discussed.

On completion of my foundation degree, my next step is to top up to a BSc in Environmental Science at the University of Plymouth. Over the last two years many new opportunities and pathways have been opened up for me and I hope that on graduating plymouth I will be able to find any sort of job in the Environmental sector, as a new graduate I know that competition will be high, so I will also endevour to undertake as much voluteer work as possible. I have also been toying with the idea of going to study for a Masters in Economics and Politics, as I feel that having an understanding of the processes that shape and run our country and indeed the world is very important in effecting any sort of fundamental changes.

Falmouth and Truro Port Health Authority

The Fal and Truro Port Health Authority was first started in order to try and monitor foreign dieseases and invasive species comming into the country through the shipping industry.

There are a number of threats and variables in need of close monitoring including:
  • sewage disposal
  • rainfall
  • land run off
  • tide

The reason why it is so crucial to monitor these things is because the carrick roads is home to a number of fisheries such as mussels and oysters, these are filter feeders capable of filtering up to 10.24 litres of water an hour which makes them particularly vulnerable to infectins and dieseases for example, hepatitus A, Norovirus and E. coli (an indicator of other diesease).

As they can not test for theese things themselves, they take samples and send them off for analysis at CEFAS who they work closely with, CEFAS will then make recomendatins, and the Food Standards Agency (FCA) will make the final decision on what classification the water should be. The criteria for classifying water is as follows:

  • Class A <>
  • Class B <>
  • Class C <>

In 2007 the amount of waters classified at each class were as follows:

  • A - 2.6%
  • B - 88.4%
  • C - 1.9%

The issues that regularly effect the Carrick roads are:

  • Variable E. coli results, which fluctuate daily, sometimes even hourly. As a low E. coli result does not neccessarily mean there is an absence of the virus in the flesh of molluscs it is important to monitor closely.
  • As down or up grading the classification of a body of water can have serious consequences, classification decisions must be based on data trends not on individual results, with this in mind at least 10 sets of results must be taken before any decision can be made.

Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPs)

The Uk BAP covers 391 species, 45 habitats and contains 162 local BAPs, the aim of this action plan is to create detailed plans in order to protect them. These BAPs will be undertaken b in each area, by a combination of people from amateur to proffessional experts, those who are able to supply funds, and government and non government representatives. For example in Cornwall the Cornwall Wildlife Trust and the Joint Nature Conservation Commitee (JNCC).

Biodiversity Convention 1992 (Rio Summit)

The Biodiversity Convention was an international treaty created by the united nations in 1992 at the Rio Summit, which differnt countries have signed up for. This convention is a practical tool that is dedicated to the importance of promoting sustainable development and raising the awareness of a clean and healthy environment. This was then translated into UK law as the Biodiversity action plan. Its encompasses:
  • plants
  • animals
  • micro-organisms
  • ecosystems
  • people
  • food
  • security
  • medicine
  • air
  • water
  • shelter

Abstracts from: English Nature - Full Review of the Coastal Management Sector Analysis

Position Statement on Shoreline Management
Englands coast supports an abundance of wildlife habitats and physical features. These special places depend on the interactions between wind, waves, tides, sediments and geology to shape and sustain thei nature conservation interest. Over time coastal habitats an features change so their effective conservation involves providing sufficient space to allow them to move and evolve in response to the action of the sea.

The Way Ahead
English Nature supports Government policy that all flood and costal erosion risk management schemes should be environmentally acceptable and provides advice to operating authorities on this aspect of all coastal management schemes based on reasoned judgements.

The conservation of important terrestrial and freshwater features that are presently protected by sea defences i a related issue. In the face of rising sea levels defending such sites in situ will often be unsustainable, expensive and exacerbate the problems of the coastal squeeze for intertidal habitats in front of seawalls. In such circumstances the best conservation option will be achieved by manged realignment and re-creating freshwater habitats in sustainable locations elsewhere.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM)

Since the 70's Coastal Zone Management (CZM) has been employed in order to effectively manage our coastlines, but with ever increasing demands upon the coastal environment, the traditional models were deemed to not be comprehensive enough. So a new age of CZM was born one that tries to integrate solutions with while tackling inter-related issues one that provides a framework for any given area. As defined by the uk Government ICZM is:

'A process that brings together all those involved in the development, management and use of the coast within framework that facilitates the integration of their interests and responsibilities. The objestive is to establish sustainable levels of economic and social activity in our coastal areas while protecting our coastal environment. ICZM is central to the ecosystem-based aproach.'

This is a method that has already been implemented by the Welsh Assembly Government (see hyperlink for more info).

September / October 2007

On the commencement of the new term we were given subject handbooks, in order to guide us through the year and the topics/areas we would be covering:
  • climate change and sea level rise

  • the natural processes of the coastal environment that both creates and destroys

  • impact of anthropogenic activities such as the marine leisure industry that take place on and threaten the coastline

  • ownership

  • shoreline management

  • shoreline protection techniques

  • coastal erosion

Sea Level Rise in Cornwall

This essay will be exploring two main aspects of the same issue that of sea level rise and the appropriate management techniques.

Firstly how will sea level rise potentially impact the Cornish coastline on a practical level, taking into account, both human and wildlife populations. Using the estimated amounts of sea level rise and projected maps for the future from Cornwall county council as well as information laid out in two IPCC reports as the main resources. Impacts upon already vulnerable and unstable coastal areas prone to coastal erosion and estuarine and low lying environments prone to flooding will be explored.

Secondly this essay will discuss the challenges of shoreline management and the different solutions available to help combat pressing issues such as coastal erosion; this discussion will cover both positive and negative aspects of the debate.
Solutions such as;
sea walls,
offshore bars,
breakwaters and
artificial reefs,

How do they work? In what sort of situations would they be viable, where have they already been used successfully in Cornwall, why they can be unsustainable?
How do our ever moving seas and currents complicate the issue, for example longshore drift.
The importance of all these issues and the possibilities of using a holistic approach, such a planned retreat, are all matters that will be explored.

As the British public look to the future it is becoming ever apparent that issues connected to climate change are not going to disappear overnight. The impending threat of sea level rise (SLR) is of particular concern to all those who live on the coast, which in Cornwall will effect the vast majority of the population as approximately only 10 miles of the Cornish boarder is connected to the mainland, this geographical fact coupled with the southern climate makes Cornwall not only a desirable place to live but one of the most popular holiday destinations in the United kingdom. So what are the experts predicting? How will sea level rise affect Cornwall?

Hyperlinks and further info: