This WebLog offers a brief introduction to all the Modules taught by Rory MacPhee at Falmuth Marine School. For full information on the Marine Environmental Management Degree see

Monday, 7 July 2008

Marine Spatial Planning

Year 2 Module Code FDMS219 20 Credits 100% Coursework

Learning Outcomes

  1. Identify the varied management schemes used on wetlands, inter-tidal zones, territorial waters, contiguous zones, EEZ’s, continental shelves and international waters
  2. Discuss the need for increased regulatory activity
  3. Evaluate planning and licensing routes for specified developments
  4. Analyse the relevance and effectiveness of a variety of zoning criteria

Introduction to Module

This module is taken by students following the Marine Leisure and Marine Environmental Management Programmes.

Questions addressed:

  • How is my marine leisure business affected if it operates in an area that carries conservation status?
  • What does "conservation status" mean?
  • What conflicts exist in the coastal zone?
  • Is increased regulation the answer to conflict resolution?
  • How does the planning system work?
  • What is the process of developing a management plan for a beach or a conservation area?


28th November 20% - Mapping: You will be asked to construct a map or series of maps using traditional cartographic skills showing a variety of features - international waters, EEZ, continental shelf, contiguous zone, territorial waters, internal waters, baseline, Marine SAC's, SSSI's/AONB/VMCA's/AGSV/CWS/RIGS/RAMSAR in Cornwall. In addition, the map should show:
probable locations of
species and habitats identified within the Habitats Regulations that might be located in Falmouth and planning developments proposed adjacent to the Fal/Helford SAC using local press and practical observation.

22ns April 80% - Management Report: You will be instructed to write a managment plan - see below for a full specification

Lecture Support

Week 4:

We will focus in on the Habitats Directive, and the impact of this European Law on the local environment. The aim of the Habitats Directive is to contribute towards ensuring bio-diversity by means of the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora in the European territory of the Member States. Unlike other pieces of legislation that protect wildlife, the Habitats Directive has two special features:
It covers both land and sea and
It takes into account economic, cultural, social and recreational needs of local communities

Marine SAC's - Special Areas of Conservation may be designated for habitats or species of conservation importance in terrestrial, coastal and marine areas. For marine SAC's see here for qualifying marine habitats, and here for qualifying marine species. An overall map of the Fal/Helford SAC can be found here showing locations of qualifying habitats. If you are interested in under sea images, look here at Mark Webster's photographs.

For an overall specification of the Fal/Helford SAC, see here

From this it will be seen that "sandbanks which are slightly covered" are a nominated habitat. So what does this mean? The answer is here, from which you will see that maerl bed communities are particularly important. This was why there was such concern over scallop dredging, summarised by DEFRA here. In class I will hope to show you a scallop presentation. For video footage of scallop dredging, see here.

According to the SAC Maangement Scheme, "the main aim of CAC's is to provide a stronghold for the habitats and species they contain through appropriate management measures achieved by co-operation between the regulating relevant authorities, landowners, industry and the public who use these areas. They are not intended to be no go areas, particularly as many sites are extensively used for industry and regulation."

The aims of the SAC Management Scheme are to maintain the features of the site - eg sandbanks, whilst enabling its continued and diverse human use, within the following general principles:

  • integration of management scheme with existing plans and initiatives
  • ensure users are kept informed through the Advisory Group, public consultation and wider provision of information
  • undertake monitoring and review of the management scheme

There are 76 Marine SAC's in the UK.

However, we are often left with this question: so what does SAC status actually mean in day to day commercial activity? See here for a letter from the MFA to A and P Appledore regarding proposals for a Marina.

And if there is to be maintenance dredging in the SAC, this is the current guidance

This example of an industry standard document about the requirements for a Coastal Defence Study should be carefully studied.

Week 5

Conservation Policy: connecting the first four lectures, we will discuss in detail how policy is developing to ensure that the objectives of the Convention on BioDiversity are met. The European perspective is all important. First step, then, the EU Commission DG Environment site. Then have a look at the pages relating to water and the marine strategy. For an overview of EU conservation strategy, study and summarise this report from the JNCC. If the link is broken, Google Update on UK and European Policy Initiatives. We will look at part of Jan's presentation - see slide1

The "bible" is the Blue Book - formally called the Integrated Maritime Policy for the EU. You should be able to anser the following question: why does the EU need a maritime policy?

It is important to maintain this EU wide perspective, so study
Seas at Risk. This is a map of EU EEZ's

Week 8

Invasive Species

Week 9

This week we will check that you are all on track for tomorrow's submission. To help this process along, I will be directing some questions to you. I will also need to de-brief on the previous week's session.

Week 10

This week is fairly momentous in the story of marine spatial planning, given that the Marine and Coastal Access Bill has been introduced in to the Queens Speech during the State Opening of Parliament.

Guardian comment
Kate Humble Video
WWF video
Local (Plymouth) perspectives video
DEFRA page (note the link on this page to a doc on Marine Licencing, which I have copied for you and distributed last week)
Draft Marine Bill - note this is a huge doc, look at p13 for an Executive Summary

Week 14

We will now focus on the final assessment for this module, which is worth 80% of your marks.

The context is shoreline/beach management planning. Let us be quite clear at the outset, this means that we will be looking at risk management - in other words, what is the risk of coastal erosion, sea level risk, habitat loss? What controls are in place to protect water quality? What proceures in in place for the health and safety of users?

The core proposition, which I am asking you to investigate and challenge, is that anthropogenically induced climate change is or will put the coastline under stress due to sea level rise and flood risk. At present (early 2009) Cornwall is engaged in a total review of the Shoreline Management Plan.

I will be organising a visit to Mullion Harbour for a meeting with Justin Whitehouse, local warden for the National Trust. Mullion is under severe threat, and a recently commissioned report is generally considered to be a model of coastal analysis

Task 1: Write a 2000 word report with the following title: "A description of the modus operandi of developing a Beach Management Plan or Shore Line Management Plan." 50%

Task 2: Each student will choose one beach or shoreline in Cornwall. Having visited the area, you will compose either a ten minute video essay published on YouTube or equivalent supported by a WebLog. The video essay will identify particular aspects of the beach/shoreline and your suggestions as to how these aspects might be managed, using knowledge gained from Task 1. The WebLog will publish a full SWOT analysis of the beach or shoreline accompanied by no less than 10 images. 30% for the Video Essay and 10% for the WebLog. 40%

Task 3: On the 30th April 2009 you will attend a lecture at the Marine School on the Marine and Coastal Access Bill, and sit a short test at the conclusion to the lecture. 10%


Cornwall Coastal Advisory Group - I recommend that you drill down into this site and use it as a primary source
South West Treasures at Risk - Guardian report
Shifting Shores - National Trust report

Polzeath Management Plan (46 pages)
Isle of Wight - what is an SMP?
Lincolshire Resort Management
Lyme Bay SMP
SMP Presentation with Falmouth Maps
What is the value of sand dunes in Cornwall? and here from CWT
Good Beach Guide
Managing Flood Risk brochure from the EA
Read this book review - a good panoramic view of beach management

Academic paper on beach ridges in Brazil
Coastal Geography from Wiki
Beach Classifications from Plymoouth Uni
Glossary of terms from SCOPAC


Ay oop
Isle of Wight animation
TVEast Report

Week 15 - Coastal Processes

Lecture 16 - Shoreline Management Plans

Key Resources: DEFRA Guidance and Defra General Resource

SMP's over mainly coastal defence, but also encompass the natural, human and built environments. An SMP is a report assessing risks in order to develop long term management policies that are continuously adptable to change. Regular monitoring is essential.

SMP's are based on sediment cells of which there are 11 in England and Wales. These are subdivided into Areas and Units.

The policy options are to do nothing, hold the existing line, advance the existing line or retreat.

SMP's should be living documents under constant review. The "horizon" is 100 years.

A project called FUTURECOAST led by Halrow engineering aims to provide nationally consistent predictions of coastal evoloutions. See this video. See this Abstract or the full paper for further elucidation.

The South of England is sinking - BBC video

Lecture 17

We will re-focus on Shore Line Management Plans this week.

We have established that SMP's are being reviewed for the whole of the UK, deadline 2010. Let's look here for details of the SMP for Cornwall drafted in 1999.

Flooding risks are an important component of shore line management, and this short paper from DEFRA clearly identifies the issues. You will be receiving paper copies during class. For those who wish to dig down deeper, see the publication by DEFRA "A Strategy for Promoting an Integrated Approach to CZM" and "SMP Guidance - March 06". This latter resource is part of a wider DEFRA resource available here. The SMP Guidance documents (Vol 1 and 2) are available in the Library, two copies of each. DEFRA's introduction states that we are left "with a complex and difficult legacy to manage in places, presenting challenges in terms of sustainability, especially in the light of potential future climate change and sea level rise". Government strategy is clearly stated as follows: Coastlines recede or advance with changes in current, wind and tide and it would be unrealistic to expect to maintain the coastline in all places as it is now. The operating authorities responsible must look at the range of options and avoid burdening future generations with the cost of maintaining unsustainable defences. We have to develop responses that are appropriate to the area at risk and wherever possible achieve sustainability through working with, rather than against, coastal processes.

Note that the SMP for Cornwall is encompassed by the SMP for Rame Head to Hartland Point, which is led by Caradon District Council - steering group details here. The GANTT chart to manage the project can be found here. The SMP review for Cornwall is being project managed by CCPL - please drill down into their website.

At the end of the session I will be giving you a copy of a summary report from Halcrow titled "Preparing for the Impacts of Climate Change" which is amplified by a paper written for the Bournemouth Coastal Group. It is important that you read these sources very carefully.

The core contention being made by ICZM professionals is that sea-level rise is central to the debate ove coastal managment. An interesting note is published here regarding the long term climate record.

James Lovelock has recently been interviewed by the BBC, where he states that sea levels are a barometer of climate change. You can listen to the interview again by podcast here.

Longshore Drift Vid
Halcrow Vids


Lecture 18

We will focus on Beach Management Plans this week.

How do we evaluate whether a beach is "good" or "bad"? This will be a short exercise using post it notes. We will then view the resource published by the Marine Conservation Society.

A "safe" beach is defined here by the RNLI who run the Lifeguard, and here is a safety information sheet, which should be learnt by all students.

These resources will allow you to analyse the beach of your choice. The MCS resource above allows a nation wide search of beaches which meet safety standards, eg Gyllngvase.

Water quality is a key issue, which has been addressed by this paper from MCS, copies of which will be made available during the session. DEFRA hav a very informative page here, portions of which will be given to you in hard copy.

A critique of the Bathing Water Directive can be found on the Marinet website, here

Lecture 19

There will be no formal lecture, but you are invited to my lecture on the Marine Bill at the University of Exeter - Tremough Campus - details follow. You are welcome to attend.

"Protecting our seas is our biggest environmental challenge after climate change and the two are closely linked" The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change & Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Lord Hunt of Kings Heath)

What is your perception of the Marine Bill? What are its objectives?
What are the threats to the marine environment?

The Marine Bill is a good example of democracy at work - 15000 organisations have been involved in pre-legislative scrutiny, and there has been considerable debate on the print and broadcast media.

The central point is that the MB will give legislative voice to the concept of Eco-System Management. This underpins the Convention on Biodiversity (Rio) and s expressed as 'a strategy for the integrated management of land, water and living resources that promotes conservation and sustainable use in an equitable way.'

EEZ's by area
Continental shelf map
MSD Regions
MSD Timetable

Defra Maps
MMO Strategy
SeaBed Landscapes

Lecture 20

We will have a full day out doing site assessments at Mullion and Porthallow Beach. I am hoping to organise transport, but we may have to rely on own cars/carshare. If we do the latter then lunch on me. Steve B has agreed to re-schedule Events Management for a double session another tiime.

Lecture 21

De Brief

Lecture 22

CW overview/initial feedback. No further lectures until 21 May when I will be arranging another full day activity.

Links to WWW - Text

Coastal Wiki
DEFRA Integrated Coastal Zone Management
DEFRA Coastal Erosion
South West Observatory
World Ocean Observatory
World Database on Protected Areas
Profile of Cornish Landscape
Designated Zones - Cycleau
Marinet - Pressure Group
Coastal Zone Law
Cornwall Wildlife Trust - response to the Marine Bill
Caribbean Initiatives
SSSI's in Cornwall
Natural England on SSSI's
Animals protected by WACA
Value of MPA's - PPT by Jean Luc
Human Impacts on our Seas

Renewable Energy Zone
NZ Beach Managment

Links to WWW - Video

To search the BBC site for video and audio click here and here for videos from the Guardian
Europe - Intro to the Blue Book
Pattenden SAC
Moray Firth SAC and Channel 4 commentry

Links to WWW - Images

Industry Contacts

British Marine Federation
One Cornwall
Cornwall Marine Network


Mullion Harbour - analysis f coastal defence strategies
Gyllngvase Beach - analysis of management strategy
RIB trip with Rory Goodall/CWT from Penzance
Beach clean


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