Coastal management is when you protect the coastline from flooding or erosion, to try and protect the coastline there are various techniques used to protect the coastline, for example: soft engineering and hard engineering.
* Soft engineering- Soft engineering uses natural systems for coastal defence such as beaches and dunes which can absorb and adjust to wave and tide energy. * Hard engineering- hard engineering is protecting the coastline using man made structure, for example: groynes, sea wall and rip rap.
Coastal management varies in different places because of various different reasons such as: geology, population, economic cost and SSSI etc. There are many reasons why the government and organisation choose to protect coastlines and there are also many reasons why they do not, in order to make the vital decision to save or to leave places they will use a cost benefit analysis which uses 3 factors to decide whether a place should be protected or not, social, economic and environmental factors is what is used to decide this. The government will also be offered with 4 options which will allow them to choose what happens in the coastline. The 4 options that they can use are: * Hold the line- this means keeping the coastline at its present position by maintenance and building coastal defences, such as: groynes, sea walls and drainage systems. Groynes are most likely to be in more economically, socially or environmentally beneficial * Advance the line- Define a line in the seaward direction and build up to it by reclamation, for example: beach nourishment. This will also be used in environmentally, socially or economically beneficial places. * Manage retreat- Let natural processes slowly move the coastline back to a line which can be more readily stabilised. This technique will be used in less sustainable areas. * Do nothing- Let nature take its course so that, for example, coast erosion would not be fought, this will also be used in less sustainable areas.
During the decision of choosing to protect a coastline or not the government will have to take all these factors on board.
Coastal management varies from place to place for many reasons
Firstly, one reason that coastal management can vary from place to place is because of the geology/ rock type of an area this can determine whether a place should be given coastal management or not. softer rock will erode more quickly than harder rock, this means the softer rock will need more coastal management because the rock is more vulnerable to erosion, softer rock is more vulnerable to erosion because softer rock because waves can easily eat way at the rock causing top cut notching, caves, arches and stumps. All of these coastal processes mean that the coast will erode more quickly, while on the other hand harder rock will not erode as quickly meaning it does not need as much coastal management, for example: the happisburgh coastline is eroding extremely fast one main reason for this is the clay cliffs which are very vulnerable to erosion and have very high erosion rates, on the other hand the white cliffs of dover/ Kent are not suffering from as much erosion as happisburgh/ Norfolk on main reason for this Is the chalk cliffs this type of rock is much harder than clay cliffs meaning it does not erode as quickly, meaning the erosion rates are lower.
Secondly, coastal management can also vary from place to place due to the population of an area, the population of an area can affect coastal management because highly populated areas will be at a higher priority than places with lower populations, this is because places with high populations have more life’s at risks and more to lose, for example: sea palling/ Norfolk has a population of 1372 from the 2011 census, this place is suffering from erosion and has lost approximately 150m in the last 50-100 years and even