Summary Session A
Coastal Zone Management: what has the 4th Framework delivered?
The session took as its theme the question of science support for coastal management. The main issue addressed in all the presentations was the effectiveness of the interaction between scientist and coastal manager. In his introduction the chairman (Dronkers) considered that scientists should learn to listen and be less arrogant, while, in turn, managers should involve scientists and choose more adaptive approaches to management.
The range of topics and approaches demonstrated in the seven presentations was illustrative of the complexity facing coastal management. Two papers were concerned with fundamental science: dealing with physical processes at the coast. Four papers dealt with the application of models to coastal problems, ranging from French oyster farming, through nutrient loading in the North Sea and the Baltic to coastal morphology in the Netherlands and southern England. Models are seen as the most effective tool to deal with the complexity of coastal problems but can be seen by the end user as difficult to use. The main problem, however, identified by all presenters and in subsequent discussion, was the level of confidence placed on model results by the end user. Involving the coastal manager in all stages of the research project was seen as one of the most effective ways of bridging the gap between the modeller and the manager. Finally, one paper provided a different perspective and looked at the assessment of a range of scientific data by a coastal management team - the Firth of Clyde Forum - a presentation that demonstrated a highly effective way of 'bridging the gap' by involving both stakeholders and scientists in the management process.