Shoreline Management


Human impacts on coastal processes

The impacts that humans have on coastal processes can happen in several ways, those that act directly upon coastal processes and those whose effect isn't initially apparent.

Impacts that act directly upon coastal processes include unsustainable and/or unmanaged coastal recreation, aggregate extraction, land reclamation and change of land use. These impacts act on a relatively local scale, e.g. several metres of trampled dunes, and their results can often be seen very quickly. Many of these impacts can be quickly and easily controlled with proper management and policies.

One of the impacts that indirectly affects coastal processes is climate change. This type of impact generally acts on a large scale, at a regional or global level. The pathway between the human action and the consequence on coast may be very complicated and take many years, decades or centuries to even become apparent. These large scale impacts can be very difficult to remedy.