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Title: The Implications of Future Shoreline Management on Protected Habitats in England and Wales
Author: M Lee E
Author: Environment Agency
Document Type: Monograph
Annotation: Environment Agency Project ID:EAPRJOUT_487, Representation ID: 158, Object ID: 1826
Future coastal defence policies and natural processes will have an impact on habitats within Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPA) and Ramsar sites. This research has involved establishing.the likely areal changes to habitats within European sites (all possible potential candidate or designated SAC/SPAS) and Ramsar sites and providing a broad estimate of the costs of replacing any overall net loss of habitat. An assumption was made that habitats will change in response to landform change. Hence, an assessment of the potential coastal landform changes over the next 50 years has been used to give an indication of the nature and scale of potential habitat change. Predictions of coastal landform change were based on an extrapolation of what has happened in the past, but modified by an assessment of the potential implications of relative sea-level rise. Loss/gain accounts have been developed for individual coastal cells in England and Wales, based on a single “best-guess” coastal defence scenario for the next 50 years (i.e:do nothing; hold the line, advance the line: or managed retreat) identified from a review of available Shoreline Management Plans (SMPs) and through a series of regional workshops. If the “best-guess” coastal defence policies are implemented and if the predicted coastal changes occur, the following important habitat changes are possible: i. there could be a net loss of freshwater and brackish habitat of around 4000 ha, primarily wet grassland (c3200 ha) but also including significant areas of coastal lagoon (c500,ha) and reed bed (c200 ha); ii. there could be a net gain of intertidal (saltmarsh and mudflat/sandflat) habitats of around 2221 ha, with the gains associated with managed retreat (c125OOha) balancing the expected losses due to coastal squeeze and erosion on the unprotected coast; iii. it is estimated that around 120 ha of sand dunes could be lost over the next 50 years, primarily in Northumberland; the South-west, Cardigan Bay and on the Sefton coast. Although this represents around only 1% of the sand dune resource within European Sites in England and Wales, it may involve the loss of a significant proportion of the important foredune dune communities in some areas; iv. there could be a loss of around 130 ha of shingle bank habitats representing around 4% of the resource within European Sites in England, and Wales; v. relatively minor losses of cliff top habitats are predicted to occur, in the order of less than 2 ha/year, nationally.
Publisher: Environment Agency
Subject Keywords: Coastal watersHabitatsNature conservationCoastal erosionCoastal and oceanic landformsBrackishwater environmentMarine environment
Extent: 61
Total file downloads: 286

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