Coastal management and public participation: what about you?

Coastlines and maritime spaces are at the heart of many challenges: energy production, tourism, economic activities, maritime transport, protection against erosion and submersion, protection of dunes, the disappearance of beaches, modification of fauna and flora, jobs, local cultures, nautical activities, cultural heritage, …
The combination of all these issues makes coastal management very complex.
Moreover, it shall be ensured that the opinions, expectations, and tendencies of everyone are collected…

Thanks for giving your opinion.

The coastal environment is the victim of its own success

Demographic changes, tourism and leisure development or simply the growing number of residential areas have largely contributed to excessive artificial development which is now threatening the coastline. Because coastal ecosystems are at risk, Surfrider Foundation has developed the «Coastal change and Climate change» programme.

Coastal cities sprawl, port expansion, breakwater constructions… the coastline has become increasingly urbanized. This observation is all the more alarming as we estimate that the world population is likely to double by 2050. If no comprehensive action is taken to tackle the impact of developments, the demographic pressure will bring its share of concrete even more heavily in the years to come.

Climate change: Engage citizens and regulatory awareness

There are many climate change issues we face on a global level and so are the consequences for marine areas and the coastline. Several environmental challenges specifically related to ocean acidification, integrated shoreline management or even coastline conservation and planning are therefore emerging. Likewise, as overseas territories are particularly vulnerable to climate change, specific attention is needed as well as preventative and/or adaptation actions in those marine and coastal areas. Because coastal ecosystems are under threat, Surfrider Foundation has decided to actively address this issue. The not-for-profit organization is particularly operating so that these challenges are taken into consideration in the various national and European policies. Additionally, the organization is developing various thematic programmes which all include this dimension.

The fight surrounding ‘Gaz des Salins’ (gas storage in salt caverns) began in the winter of 2011. EDF was planning to dig out huge cavities in the saline soil around Pouillon, in order to use them for the storage of natural gas. The main issue, around which the engagement of the Sud-Landes Chapter evolved, was the construction of a 40 km long two-way canal connecting the site with the ocean, which would have passed through Natura 2000 protected zones, through groundwater supplies, and under coastal sand dunes. Its purpose was the transportation of the water necessary for the creation of the cavities, which would then have become saturated in salt brine and discharged back into the ocean, in quantities and frequencies which would have seriously affected the surrounding ecosystem. Martine, Keeper of the Coast and representative of the SFE Sud-Landes Chapter, attended several meetings as part of the public debate. The chapter also presented a stakeholder’s guide, which highlights the very real environmental risks of such a project. In the summer of 2012, a petition was presented to the Sub-Prefecture of the Landes Region. The French President and concerned Ministers were called upon by mail and asked to cancel the project.

Renewable Marine Energies: understanding and being heard

The coexistence on the same territory of marine renewable energy production (offshore wind turbines, tidal turbines, wave energy …) and human activities can be problematic. To fix this, dialogue provides solutions by promoting an understanding of the issues of all. This allows, ultimately, to optimize the integration of these infrastructures while respecting the territories and the issues that are dear to us.

By, giving our opinion, we give a real chance to conjugate in the future, our practices, the energic transition and the building of a better world for future generations!

This short guide (French version, English one coming soon) [EMR-consultation-CoastalDefenders] offers you an insight into the energy transition and then the solution that represents marine renewable energies. He then presents the framework of the consultation and what we can do there. Finally, of course, the Surfrider Coastal Defender team is by your side and offers you its support to enable you to make your voice heard and participate in the construction of shared and respectful coasts.
Enjoy reading it and see you soon.