Websites for Projects and Organisations


Website description and/or address

AquaReg CZM





Celtic Seas Partnership

The Celtic Seas Partnership is a European Community LIFE+ project that brings together sea-users, scientists and governments to help achieve healthy and sustainable seas in the Celtic Seas Marine Region. The project runs until December 2016 and is led by WWF-UK. The other project partners are University of Liverpool, supported by the North West Coastal Forum, and the Natural Environment Research Council (British Oceanographic Data Centre; UK), Dublin Regional Authority (Republic of Ireland) and SeaWeb (France). The Celtic Seas Partnership will support the implementation of EU environmental and maritime policy particularly under the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.

The project is building on the success of the PISCES project (Partnerships Involving Stakeholders in the Celtic Sea Ecosystem) which ended in 2012.







Coastal Guide

A guide to the management of the coastal zones in England. With comprehensive list of links.

Coastal Groups

Examples of the many that exist

East Anglian Coastal Group (

South Downs Coastal Group (

South East Coastal Group (

Coastal Habitat Restoration Good Practice Guide


Coastal Habitat Management Plans



Coastal Management

List of mainly international coastal management and marine conservation websites.

Coastal Priority Habitats

UK Biodiversity Action Plan:

vegetated shingle (

sand dunes (

saltmarsh (

vegetated sea cliffs (

Coastal Issues Special Interests Group

The Local Government Association's Special Interest Group on Coastal Issues comprises elected members from coastal local authorities. It is the mechanism by which local government communicates its needs and priorities to central government on coastal issues such as flood and sea defences.

The Coastal & Marine Union


Costing the impact of demersal (near, or on the sea bed) fishing on marine ecosystem processes and biodiversity is a project funded under the European Union Quality of Life and Management of Living Resources programme.

Countryside Character Initiative

The Countryside Agency developed a programme of information and advice on the character of the English countryside. The features that define the landscape of each area are recorded in individual descriptions which explain what makes one area different from another and shows how that character has arisen and how it is changing.

Profiles for National Character Areas are now available at:

Advice for Landscape and seascape character assessments is now on the GOV.UK website:


Cycleau was a trans-national project focussing on the rivers of SW England, Western France and Ireland that involved many partners and communities. The project ended in December 2006.


Estuary Programme

This initiative is operated by the US Environmental Protection Agency. The aim is to improve the quality of estuaries of national importance. Many of the issues and action are relevant to European situations.


ELOISE was a thematic network instigated by the European Commission where coastal zone research is combined to focus on the important questions of how the land-ocean interaction operates, and how this is influenced by human activities. ELOISE was the coordinated European input to the international IGBP core project LOICZ (Land-Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone) and represented the research contribution to the EU initiative on integrated coastal zone management.

Estuary and Firth Forums  




FishBase is a database containing information on practically all fish species known to science. It aims to cater to different professionals such as research scientists, fisheries managers, zoologists and anyone interested in knowing more about fish. FishBase 2004 is also available on DVD or CD-ROMs with full information on 28,500 species. FishBase was developed at the WorldFish Centre in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and many other partners, and with support from the European Commission.

Fish List

Provides information on what species it is OK to eat and what should be avoided due to depleted stocks caused by over fishing.

Foresight Flood and Coastal Defence project

The Foresight Flood and Coastal Defence project was designed to produce a challenging and long-term vision for the future of flood and coastal defence in the whole of the UK. The findings of the project were published on 22 April 2004 as the ‘Future Flooding’ report.


The futurecoast study was commissioned by Defra and carried out by a team, led by consultants Halcrow Group Ltd, over a period of approximately 21 months. The results of the study were distributed to coastal defence operating authorities on CD in October 2002.

Government Departments

Information on the principal government departments with a responsibility for coastal areas can be found through the following websites:


Scottish Government

Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Heritage Coasts


Humber Management Scheme


Humber Nature Partnership (previously Humber INCA)


Inter-Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology maintains an overview of marine activities across Government. It encourages links between Government and the national marine community, the wider application of marine science and technology, optimum use of major UK marine facilities, training and education and international links.

Superseded in 2008 by the Marine Science Co-ordination Committee (MSCC)


The Industry Nature Conservation Association

Integrated Coastal Zone Management

International Maritime Organisation

The International Maritime Organisation is a United Nations agency responsible for improving maritime safety and prevention of pollution from ships. Their information resources section contains a Directory of Maritime Links.

Irish Sea Project

The UK Government Review of Marine Nature Conservation set up the Irish Sea Pilot project in 2002 to test the potential for an ecosystem approach to managing the marine environment at a regional sea scale. The Irish Sea area was selected for the Pilot because it was considered to be one of the most ecologically-distinct regional seas around the UK. Its semi-enclosed geography and range of stakeholders and activities makes it perhaps the most recognisable and distinct of the regional seas.

Irish Sea Pilot project final report

Proposed Marine Nature Conservation Framework


Joint Nature Conservation Committee - marine pages.


Local Authorities International Marine Environmental Organisation – KIMO International - is a network of local authorities which collaborate and exchange experiences and best practice on marine pollution issues. Each participating country operates a national forum, the emphasis of which differs between countries according to their particular priorities. KIMO publications include guidance on developing strategies to manage oil spills and the economic implications of marine pollution.

Living with the sea


Low Tide

Maritime and coastguard agency

The MCA is responsible for overseeing shipping and coastal safety, and is the competent U.K. authority responsible for responding to pollution from shipping and offshore installations. The environmental issued within the MCA remit include ballast water, marine litter and port waste reception facilities.

Marine Conservation Society

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has been established to make a significant contribution to sustainable development in the marine area and to promote the UK government’s vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.

Marine Stewardship Council

The (MSC) is an independent non-profit organisation that promotes responsible fishing practices.


The Marine Life Information Network for Britain and Ireland (MarLIN) programme was established in 1998 by the Marine Biological Association with the aim of providing information for marine environmental management, protection and education. The programme was developed in collaboration with the major environmental protection agencies in the UK together with academic institutions and was designed to make information freely and rapidly available through the Internet. MarLIN is the marine node of the National Biodiversity Network and contributes data to the NBN Gateway.


MERMAID was the JNCC’s Marine Environmental Resource Mapping and Information Database. It was developed to provide wider access to information on marine sites, habitats and species around Britain and Ireland collected as part of the Marine Nature Conservation Review and originally held on the MNCR database.

The MERMAID website has now closed. The information provided by MERMAID is now available in three places: the NBN Gateway for species data; the MESH webGIS for habitat data and other MNCR survey details; and the JNCC website for the latest version of the Marine Habitat Classification. Further information and links to the three places are available at the following link:


The project ‘Development of a framework for Mapping European Seabed Habitats' aims to produce seabed habitat maps for north-west Europe  and develop international standards and protocols for seabed mapping studies.

The MESH Project ran between 2004 and 2008 and is made up of a consortium of twelve partners from five European countries led by the UK’s Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC).The website is designed to give easy access to the hundreds of project outputs that include an interactive mapping page, a catalogue of mapping studies, practical guides, tool kits, data templates and technical reports.

The MESH website is now part of the EMODnet Seabed Habitats website. The MESH interactive map has been subsumed into the EMODnet Seabed Habitats portal, where the content will continue to be updated with the best available seabed-habitat data

Minch Project

The Minch Project is a collaborative venture, established by Scottish Natural Heritage, Highland Council and Comhairle nan Eilean Siar together with a number of other partners. The project aims to find ways of achieving more integrated and effective management of the marine and coastal environments in the Minch area. The website has a number of reports looking at subjects ranging from coastal erosion, marine litter, integrated management and pollution.

Marine SACs Project

The Marine Special Areas of Conservation Project was set up to establish management schemes on selected marine Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), with a view to using the lessons learned from 12 test sites to develop approaches and techniques for the management and monitoring of all marine SACs. The website content includes maps locating and describing the mSACs, technical descriptions of different habitat types, and practical advice on establishing management programmes.

The UK Marine SACs Project was completed in 2001. All the documents and background information that have been published can now be accessed through the UKMPA Centre.


The UK Marine SAC publications held here have not been updated since the Project ended. More up to date site-based information, guidance and publications can be accessed via the UKMPA Centre website.



MEDIN is a partnership of UK organisations committed to improving access to marine data.Its partners represent government departments, research institutions and private companies. MEDIN reports directly to the Marine Science Coordination Committee (MSCC) (previously the Inter Agency Committee on Marine Science and Technology (IACMST)).


National Trust

Natural England

Marine Strategy.

Neptune Coastline Campaign

NE Atlantic programme

The WWF North-East Atlantic Programme aims to protect and, where necessary, restore biodiversity and maintain the natural productivity and status of the North-East Atlantic marine environment (OSPAR report)

Its special focus is on the land-sea interface, land-based activities in the catchment area and commonly shared resources. The Coordination Office serves as a contact point for WWF's work in relation to key intergovernmental organisations. Through lobbying and advocacy in these frameworks, WWF has initiated commitments to keep the ocean clean, to green fisheries policy and to conserve biodiversity at sea.

Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) - Coast

No Take Zone

St Agnes, Cornwall


Oceans - Environmental Defense Fund

An American environmental charity. Website provides information on how everyone can take action to reduce impact of man’s industrial and recreational activities on the coast and marine environment.


OSPAR Commission for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic. The 1992 OSPAR Convention is the current instrument guiding international cooperation on the protection of the marine environment of the North-East Atlantic. It combined and up-dated the 1972 Oslo Convention on dumping waste at sea and the 1974 Paris Convention on land-based sources of marine pollution. The OSPAR Commission, made up of representatives of the Governments of 15 Contracting Parties and the European Commission, representing the European Union, manages the work under the convention.


Partnership of Irish Sea Coast and Estuary Strategies

PISCES operates as a sub-group of the North West Coastal Forum.

It includes:
The Solway Firth Partnership

Sefton Coast Partnership

Duddon Estuary Partnership

Wirral Coastal Partnership

Ravenglass Coastal Partnership

Morecambe Bay Partnership

Arnside/Silverdale and Solway Coast Areas of Natural Beauty

N.B.  PISCES is also an acronym for ‘Partnerships Involving Stakeholders in the Celtic Sea Ecosystem’ an EC LIFE+ project which ran from 2009-2012. The PISCES Guide will provide an example of using the ecosystem approach for marine management. The project has also formed the basis for the Celtic Seas Partnership.


Ports and the Environment

This part of the FP-6 DG Research Integrated Project ‘Effective Operations in Ports (EFFORTS)’ aims at sustainability of port infrastructure and operations by solving environmental conflicts but maintaining efficiency.


Save the North Sea

SCAPE – Scottish Coastal Archaeology and the Problem of Erosion

SCAPE is a charity that seeks to research, conserve and promote the archaeology of Scotland's coast. SCAPE is especially interested in remains that are threatened by coastal erosion.

SCAPE’s new project Scotland’s Coastal Heritage at Risk (SCHARP) will run until 2015.


Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline.

Scottish Coastal Forum

Scottish Government

Strategy for Scotland’s Coasts and Inshore Waters.

Strategy for Marine Conservation in Scotland’s Seas (2011)




This is a national project for volunteer sports divers who have an interest in what they're seeing under water, want to learn more and want to help protect the marine environment. The main aims are to map out the various types of seabed found in the near-shore zone around the whole of the British Isles and record what lives in each area, thereby establishing the richest sites for marine life, the sites where there are problems and the sites which need protection.

Shoreline management guide

The objective of EU funded EUROSION project was to provide a package of recommendations for policy-making and information management practices to address coastal erosion in Europe. Based on a scoping and a user requirement study, the project established a comprehensive European-level data repository at scale 1:100,000. From the analysis of the state-of-the-art of current practices in coastal erosion prevention and management at various levels, a shoreline management guide of practical examples from all over Europe has been produced, highlighting the weaknesses and strengths from technical, economical, and social points of view. The project was completed in 2004.



Coastal habitats

Background Info

Special Areas of Conservation under the Habitats Directive.

Joint Nature Conservation Committee (JNCC)


Thames Estuary Partnership


ThamesWEB is the website of the Thames Estuary Partnership, which was born out of the scheme by English Nature to develop estuary management forums in the early 1990’s. The Partnership is an amalgam of government, voluntary business and industry which seeks to promote the interest of the local community, economy and environment. A very wide range of topics are covered within the website.

Wales Coastal and Maritime Partnership

Aims to provide advice to the Welsh Assembly Government on sustainable development issues affecting the coast and seas of Wales as well as facilitating the exchange of information and dissemination of good practice. The Partnership comprises representatives of 28 organisations from the public, private and voluntary sectors.


WiSe is a scheme set up to deliver Training and Accreditation for operators of registered passenger and charter vessels who wish to view marine wildlife like dolphins, basking sharks and seals in West Country waters. All WiSe operators have attended and passed a course designed to ensure that they have an understanding of how to approach marine wildlife, and how to minimise any disturbance to those animals.

WWF marine and coastal ecosystems

Introduction to WWF work on marine and coastal issues in the UK.

Websites for School Activities


Website description and address

Classroom @ sea

This interactive website is being developed by Southampton Oceanography Centre with help from two Hampshire science teachers. It explains a range of marine science topics, offers resources for teachers and aims to host online debates for children. In June 2004 the teachers joined SOC scientists on a two-week marine research cruise and send back daily reports, photographs, stories and video clips for the website

This is an American website with a wide range of material for use in schools. Topics covered include estuaries, coastal zone management. Most of the material can be used for non-American environments.

Coastal Erosion

The Coastal Management section of the North Norfolk website provides a range of information related to the Council's coast protection role, from the physical processes operating on the coast to a detailed description of the defences in place. The information is aimed at school and college students, but it should also be of use to anyone interested in the history and the options for the future of the North Norfolk coast.

Climate change: counting the cost at the coast

The Tyndall Centre for Climate Change has produced this workbook aimed at 11-14 year olds and their teachers.

Marine Conservation Society - cool seas

The Marine Conservation Society’s Cool Seas section includes information on sea creatures, the threats they face and ways to help. There are also links to the MCS menu for more information.

Oceans 4schools

This web magazine is aimed at 12- to 16-year-olds. It has background information on ocean and earth sciences, activity ideas, quizzes and puzzles, and reports from research cruises and expeditions.

Project Aware

A range of activities focused on the coast and oceans which may be home based or classroom based. 

Reference Documents


Website description, address and source

Coastal Archaeology and Erosion in Scotland

A review of the archaeological sites which are subject to threat from coastal erosion, sponsored by Historic Scotland. This conference proceedings (2003, ISBN 1 903570 62 X) are available from the online shop of the Historic Scotland website.

Coastal Communities Network

The objective of CoCoNet was to develop a network of community stakeholders with an interest in sustainable management of their local coastal resources and adopting best practice. Stakeholders include national and regional authorities, local community interest groups such as fishermen, tourist operators, aquaculturists, conservationists, property developers, shipping operators, teachers, etc. The project was directed at the Southern Irish Sea and participants were from Ireland and Wales. CoCoNet was a EU Interreg IIIA project the final report of which was completed in September 2004, 51 pages. report/CoCoNet Final Report.pdf

The Coastal Handbook

A collaborative project between the Environment Agency and Maritime Local Authorities, 2nd ed. June 2010

Coasts and Estuarine publications

Range of publications from the Joint Committee for Nature Conservation.

Coastal Habitat Management Plans

An Interim Guide to Content and Structure


Coastal Habitat Restoration Good Practice Guide


Dredging in Coastal Waters

This book is dedicated to dredging and its environmental impact in the widest sense. Edited by D. Eisma, et al, published by Taylor & Francis, Inc, 2005, ISBN-0415391113

Environmental opportunities in low-lying coastal areas under a scenario of climate change

English Nature Research Report No 16. The report is available free to download from the Natural England website:

Future Flooding

The Foresight Flooding and Coastal Defence Report April 2004.

Mid-term review August 2012

Guide to restoring habitat

This good practice guide provides an information resource for operating authorities and other practitioners and guides them as to how they can deliver habitat restoration and re-creation works. Habitats covered range from sea cliffs to sand and mud flats.

Guide to Managing Coastal Erosion in Beach/Dune systems

This guide for coastal authorities and managers reviews the different ways in which erosion can be managed and describes and illustrates how each technique can be designed to minimise the damage to the natural heritage. Scottish Natural Heritage, 2000.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management ICZM in the UK: a stocktake

In March 2003, the UK Government commissioned a stocktake of the current framework for management of the coastal zone in the UK. This, the final report of the project, is a contribution to the developing ICZM programme for the UK and the national strategies for England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland which are due to be completed by 2006. March 2004 107 pages, 2.4mb.

Impacts of Marine Debris and Oil

Impacts of Marine Debris and Oil: Economic and Social Costs to Coastal Communities KIMO 2000, 124 pages. ISBN 0904562891

Impacts of man’s activities on Marine Special Areas of Conservation (marine SAC)

The countryside agencies within the UK have collaborated on an EU LIFE funded project to develop management schemes for marine mSAC. A key output from this project has been a series of reports which assess the interactions that can take place between human activities and the marine environment in order to provide better management of mSACs and other non-designated coastal areas. This will be achieved by defining those activities that may have a beneficial, neutral or harmful impact and by giving examples of management measures that will prevent or minimise adverse effects.

Aggregates: (126 pages)

Recreation: (256 pages)

Water quality - coast: (448 pages)

Water quality - lagoons: (136 pages)

Fisheries and bait collection:

Fisheries: (126 pages)
Bait (127pages)

Port and Harbour operations: (186 pages)

Investigation and management of soft rock cliffs

A large proportion of the Anglian Coast consists of what is termed to be 'soft cliffs' that are susceptible to marine induced erosion. DEFRA have produced a management manual specifically for dealing with these difficult areas. A non-technical summary can be downloaded from the following website.

The book can be obtained from Thomas Telford Bookshop:

IZCM in Northern Ireland

Scoping Study Examining The Potential Establishment of a Northern Ireland Coastal Forum January 2003 40 Pages 210kb.


Joint Nature Conservation Committee

Living with the sea

Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009

Marine Conservation Zones

MCZs will protect a range of nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology and can be designated anywhere in English and Welsh inshore and UK offshore waters.

Marine Management Organisation (MMO)

The Marine Management Organisation (MMO) has been established to make a significant contribution to sustainable development in the marine area and to promote the UK government’s vision for clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs)

The main types of MPA in the UK are Special Areas of Conservation (SACs) for habitats of European importance, Special Protection Areas (SPAs) for birds (also known as Natura 2000, or N2K sites), and Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) for nationally important habitats and species.

Maritime State of Nature for England

English Nature: State of Nature: Maritime – getting onto an even keel. 2002 48 pages ISBN 1 85716 647 4 CORP 126

Natural Heritage Futures

Scottish Natural Heritage has prepared a suite of publications to guide the future management of the natural heritage towards 2025, within the wider context of sustainable development. These documents aim to identify common goals and encourage an integrated approach in which all sectors work together. Six broad national themes are reviewed. For example, Coasts and Seas 2003, 44 pages, ISBN 1 85397 147 2.

Regional specific reports are also offered.

No Take Zones

Our coasts and seas - making space for people, industry and wildlife

Prepared for the Review of Marine Nature Conservation and the Marine Stewardship process by English Nature, the Countryside Council for Wales, Environment Heritage Services (Northern Ireland), the Joint Nature Conservation Committee and the Royal Holloway Institute for Environmental Research. July 2003, English Nature Research Report no. 538, ISSN 0967-876X, 27 pages, 435kb. (CORP 169)

Our Coasts and Seas

Our Coasts and Seas: a 21st century agenda for their recovery, conservation and sustainable use

English Nature consultation 2004

Regional Seas Pilot Scheme in the Irish Sea

Regulatory Responsibilitie s & Enforcement Mechanisms Relevant to Marine Nature Conservation in the United Kingdom

Report to the JNCC, July 2003, Report No. ZBB604-F2-2003, 57 pages, 638kb.

A review of the effects of recreational interactions within UK European marine sites

Review of the integration among plans for the coast in Scotland

This study was commissioned jointly between the Scottish Government and the Crown Estates. It had two main aims: to identify the level of integration that existed between plans and management strategies with a coastal zone, and identify measures to strengthen the level of integration between plans The project worked through the analysis of four case studies in Scotland: Firth of Clyde, Cromarty Firth, Orkney Islands and the Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire Coast. 2002, 54pages.

Review of Marine Nature Conservation

Review of Marine Nature Conservation July 2004



Saline lagoon guide

Saline lagoon guide: A guide to their management and creation by Roger Bamber, Paul Gilliland and Matt Shardlow (ISBN 1 85716 573 X). 

A review of this guide is available on the Natural England  Living with the Sea project website.

Saltmarsh Review

An overview of coastal saltmarshes, their dynamic and sensitivity characteristics for conservation and management 2003, 114 pages 1.16MB. This report provides information on the structure and functions of saltmarsh, a habitat previously regarded as wasteland but which is now valued for its wide range of functions in relation to sea defence, nature conservation and supporting life in adjoining ecosystems.

Safeguarding Our Seas

A strategy for the conservation and protection of our marine environment. Defra publication May 2002. PB6187, 82 Pages 650kb

Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative

‘The Scottish Sustainable Marine Environment Initiative (SSMEI) is an approach in developing an overall marine planning framework for Scotland. The SSMEI - led by the Executive - aims to develop and then test the benefits of possible new management framework options for the sustainable development of Scotland 's marine resources through the establishment of a number of pilot projects such as the Shetland Islands, Berwickshire Coast, the Sound of Mull and the Clyde.’

Sensitivity mapping for Oil Pollution Incident Response

Marine Biological Association – MarLIN.

Shoreline management Plans

Shoreline management plans, SMPs: Defra guidance on preparing SMPs

Environment Agency – Second Generation Shoreline Management Plans

Southern North Sea Sediment Transport Study

This study provides a greater understanding of sediment transport processes along the eastern coastline of England between Flamborough Head in Yorkshire and North Foreland in Kent.  The study was commissioned by nine local authorities along with the Environment Agency, English Nature, the dredging industry and DEFRA

Strategy for Scotland’s Coasts and Inshore Waters

A national strategy for the sustainable use of Scotland's coast and inshore waters has been prepared by the Scottish Coastal Forum. The aims are to take stock of the resources and key management issues and then to develop an influential vision based on a 25-year forward view. The strategy is designed to be an advisory document for Scottish Ministers, providing guidance on implementation of ICZM in Scotland. An implementation plan is to be developed to follow up the objectives and actions.

Summary of Current Legislation Relevant to Nature Conservation in the Marine Environment in the United Kingdom

Report to the JNCC July 2003 Report No. ZBB604-F1-2003, 132 pages, 550kb.


The Impacts of Recreation on Marine Special Areas of Conservation

This report commissioned by the UK Countryside Agencies assess the potential negative and beneficial implications of recreation in UK Marine Special Areas of Conservation (mSAC). Forming part of the a UK demonstration project funded by the European LIFE fund this report provides a ‘tool-box’ of information for local government, statutory agencies, industry and the public in designated areas. March 2000, 260pages.

The role of Scottish local initiatives in implementing the principles of integrated coastal zone management

Turning the Tide

Turning the Tide: Addressing the impact of fisheries on the marine environment. Royal Commission of Environmental Pollution Report December 2004.

UK Marine SAC Project

Publications list.

Water-Based Tourism, A strategic vision for Galway

Publication available from the Marine Institute, Ireland.


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