Part 3. Managing Coastal Margins

Image of ocean wave

Conceptual Understanding:

Key Question:

How powerful are different stakeholders in relation to coastal margin management?

Key Content:

  • Coastal erosion and flooding management strategies, including cliff stabilisation, sea walls, managed retreat and population preparedness.
  • Conflicting pressures on the coastline, including commercial land use (tourism, industry and housing) and conservation measures.
  • Management of coral reefs and mangrove swamps, including different stakeholder perspectives on their use and value.
  • Sovereignty rights of nations in relation to territorial limits along coastal margins and exclusive economic zones.

Thursday 19 October 2023

How can authorities manage coasts to prevent erosion and flooding?

Lesson Objective:

  • To examine ways authorities can manage coasts to prevent coastal erosion and flooding, including cliff line stabilization and managed retreat

Starter: Study the photograph below of Lyme Regis, UK and discuss the following as a class:

  1. Suggest human and physical factors that may be influencing the rates of coastal erosion.
  2. Suggest human and physical factors that will influence the reasons why and ways authorities will manage a coast.
  3. Suggest ways that authorities might manage a coastline to protect against erosion and flooding.

Coastal Management Strategies

There are many ways that authorities can try to prevent coastal erosion and flooding, such as the following:

  1. Rock and wooden groynes
  2. Riprap/rock armour
  3. Revetments
  4. Sea walls
  5. Gabions
  6. Dredging
  7. Nailing cliff slopes
  8. Managed retreat

Today we are going to investigate seven of these methods today.

Task 1. Coastal Management Strategies Card Sort

In pairs, sort the 42 cards given into seven piles according to a type of management strategy. Each pile should have the following cards:

  1. Name of strategy
  2. Description of strategy
  3. Photo of strategy
  4. Diagram outlining how strategy works
  5. Advantages
  6. Disadvantages

Take a photo of your completed card sort when correct!!

Take this online quiz to test your knowledge!

Decision Making Exercise:

For the imaginery town of Seaview, create a coastal management plan to help save the coastline and meet the needs of the major stakeholders!

Monday 23 October 2023

How can authorities manage coasts to prevent erosion and flooding?

Lesson Objective:

  • To examine ways authorities can manage coasts to prevent coastal erosion and flooding, including cliff line stabilization and managed retreat

Lyme Regis, Dorset, UK – Case Study

Task 2. Read the following slideshow which shows historical issues of cliff erosion in Lyme Regis.

Task 3. Now read the following presentation about coastal management strategies at Lyme Regis.

Task 4. Annotate the map in this Google Doc with information about the history of coastal erosion in Lyme Regis and the coastal management strategies that have been adopted. Imagine this is a 8 mark exam question that you are trying to answer.

Managed Retreat in Gloucester, Virginia, USA – Case Study

Study this ARCGIS Storyboard featuring case studies of managed retreat in the USA. Using example case studies from the storyboard answer the questions in this Google Doc.

Thursday 26 October 2023

What land-use pressures exist on coastlines?

Lesson Objective:

  • To examine conflicting land-use pressures on coastlines, including commercial land uses (tourism, industry and housing) and conservation measures.


  1. Discuss as a class the types land-use pressures that exist at coastlines. Which different stakeholder groups compete over access to land?
  2. Use this conflict grid to reflect upon the different stakeholder interests in coastal land-use. Identify the types of pressures and conflicts that might exist.

Costa Del Concrete – Case Study

Read this article which shows before and after images of the Mediterranean coastline. For each image do the following tasks and record in the table in this Google Doc.

  1. Identify the main land-use pressures, e.g. growth of tourism, industry and housing and infrastructure
  2. Identify the main losses in land-use
  3. Suggest reasons for the change in regard to economic development/policy and conservation policy

Land-use Change in Phuket, Thailand – Case Study

Google Map of Phuket

Use this Google Doc for the following tasks.

Study the map below showing land-use change on Phuket Island between 1989 and 2011.

  1. Describe the pattern of change?
  2. What land-use change represents the big winners and what land-use change represents the big losers?
Source: Narunat PAYAKKA, Sangdao WONGSAI

Read the following piece of text adapted from a report assessing the long term land-use changes in Phuket and answer the following question in your Google Doc.

  1. What were the key land-use changes that occurred?
  2. What conclusion in regard to pressures on coastal land-use can be drawn from this long term study?
  3. What land-use change has been most dominant?
  4. At the expense of what land-use?
  5. Why have conservation projects been overshadowed by tourism development

In the period of 12 years (1989-2000), forests decreased by 7.53, and thereafter, 11 years later from 2000 to 2011, forests dramatically decreased by 23.37 It indicates severe deforestation by a factor of 3.5. Meanwhile, mangrove forests decreased in the first period of study and then increased, pointing out effective mangrove-planting campaigns by local conservationists. Built-up areas have replaced all types of land use, including beaches, coconut trees, paddy fields, water bodies, para rubber, mangrove forests, and forests. There are the needs for more housing to accommodate an increasing of population from tourism activities. These findings are the basis for future land use planning policy in Phuket with a consideration of tourism development and environmental protection.

Our study of LULCC in Phuket for 23 years (1989-2011) disclosed that built-up areas have replaced all types of land use, including beaches (37.2%), coconut trees (27.35%), paddy fields (24.51%), water bodies (17%), para rubber (15.5%), mangrove forests (10.58%) and forests (1.95%). There are the needs for more housing to accommodate an increasing of population. Our result is similar to that occurred in Chiang Rai, Lamphun and Chaing.

Phuket forest conservation areas have been replaced by para rubber agriculture and oil palm plantation. There was an evidence that during the first 12-year period of study 1989-2000 the forests decreased by about 7.53 (4,700 rai), and 11 years later (2000-2011) decreased by threefold and a half, accounting for 23.37 (14,600 rai). This issue is a global problem and is in need to be solved (Mon et al., 2012). Authorities involved should pay more attention on this issue. A serious action should been made to prevent further forest encroachment in the future.

In Phuket, urban expansion and development have been chiefly driven by tourism activities and policies at local, regional, and national levels. Historical land use and land cover changes in Phuket, Thailand, have been largely regulated by tourism-economic developments in according to the national economic policies. A rapid growth of urban expansion and development with a number of tourist accommodations and residential housings under construction is a result of the policy-driven development. Consequently, forest conservation areas dramatically decreased by a factor of 3.5 during the early 21st century, compared to that in the late 20th century. This raises a concern about developments without conservation planning or a failure in land use management. Therefore, we suggest that an increasing conservation effort should been made to protect natural resources in the region, and a strict land use policy and regulation should be carried out in practices.

Homework: Complete all activities for Monday 30 October 2023.

Monday 30 October 2023

How do different stakeholders use and value mangroves and coral reefs?

Lesson Objectives:

  • To examine the perspectives and management implications for different stakeholders on the use and value of mangroves.
  • To examine the perspectives and management implications for different stakeholders on the use and value of coral reefs.


In pairs choose to investigate either coral reefs or mangroves for today’s lesson. One of you will complete the activities posted below for coral reefs, and the other will complete the activities posted below for mangroves.

Option 1. Coral Reefs

Task 1. Characteristics of Coral Reefs

Watch the following David Attenborough films introducing the Great Barrier Reef and make notes on the its key characteristics and features using this Google Doc.

Task 2. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

With reference to the legend below which shows the zoning plan for the Great Barrier Reef complete the following activities:

  1. Describe how access to the reef is managed.
  2. Describe how this zoning plan for the Cairns area impacts:
    • Boating Activities
    • Line Fishing
    • Trawling
    • Tourism Programming

Watch the following video and make notes on the benefits of green zones for the wider fishing communities.

Option 2. Mangroves

Task 1. Characteristics of Mangroves

Complete the activities in this Google Doc using the resources below.

Ramsar Website