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Monday, 18 March 2013

Evaluation of Coastal Management at Swanage

J.Hutchings (Y9) has written an evaluation of coastal management at Swanage. Click on the image to enlarge it, then read the evaluation underneath.

Do you agree with his assesment of the current strategies?
Would you manage it differently?
Would you manage it at all?

(Comment Below or tweet @bsgeography)

Judging by the fact that the officials in charge of the area (described on annotated map) have a main focus of ensuring a sustainable future for the coastal area of Swanage, I think that there is little to be done regarding changes.  It is said that plans dealing with the future of the coast are currently being reviewed, processed and produced, but in the meantime they are continuing to allow the defences already set up to prevent erosion getting out of hand.
Regarding the defences themselves, however, I think that a different approach would have been more adequate.  Having a long system of groynes stretching across some of the coast is good, as it helps to stabilise the beach and keep it in one piece.  The sea walls do their job, but it doesn’t quite meet the needs of a sustainable balance.  They are particularly expensive (one of the most expensive coastal defence concepts) and are also unappealing to the public.  While it may meet the needs of the environment, it fails to do the same socially and economically.
There are no ideal options when it comes to social sustainability, as even though there may be more suitable solutions in terms of appearance, none contribute significantly enough to make it worthwhile.  However, perhaps a series of rip-raps or gabions could have been used, as these are less expensive than sea walls and still manage to absorb the waves’ energy relatively successfully.

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