Managing coastal environments
Managing coastal environments

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Managing coastal environments

Conclusion

In this course we have used the Blackwater to identify the theme of environmental response. Responses involve the interaction of human and natural processes. For example, the rise in sea level experienced in the estuary is partly natural readjustment after the Ice Age and partly a response to greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activity. This rise has brought about two forms of response: human responses to change in the environment and responses made by the environment.

The first form, responses by humans to the impacts of environmental change, includes the building of sea walls to prevent the loss of productive land, and various measures of coastal protection and conservation management to prevent further loss of saltmarsh and its biodiversity.

Figure 20
Figure 20 Managed retreat at Orplands.

The second form of response, that made by the environment to changes, includes: coastal erosion as a response to sea level rise; extinction of species through loss of habitat; and loss of saltmarsh through coastal squeeze.

You may note that responses tend to have both negative and positive impacts. Thus, responses by and to the environment have resulted both in the loss of saltmarsh by flooding and embankment, and in its re-creation through managed retreat (Figure 20).

U216_1

Take your learning further371

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses372.

If you are new to university level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. Find out Where to take your learning next?373 You could either choose to start with an Access courses374or an open box module, which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification.

Not ready for University study then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn375 and sign up to our newsletter376 to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371