Shoreline Management Plans

What is a Shoreline Management Plan?

A Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) is a large-scale assessment of the risks associated with coastal processes and helps reduce these risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environments. Coastal processes include tidal patterns, wave height, wave direction and the movement of beach and seabed materials.

How has our shoreline changed over the years?

Shorelines constantly change due to waves and tides. The amount of physical change depends on many things, and happens over timescales from seconds to centuries. The changing coastline has also been influenced by people’s actions throughout the years, particularly in attempts to stop the effect of erosion or flooding. In some cases, this has taken place without an appreciation of the effect these actions could have on other places up and down the coast.

Increasing pressures on our coast.

As changes to our coastline continue, social, economic and environmental pressures are increasing in coastal areas. People enjoy living by and visiting the coast, and the pressure for more housing is increasing. As international trade increases, so does the demand for port space and associated coastal-based industry. This sort of development places stress on natural coastal habitats that are often unique and of national and international importance.

Use the menu on the left to examine each of the SMPs relevant to the East Anglian region.

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