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Coastal Monitoring

The Southern Coastal Group (SCG)

www.channelcoast.org www.southerncoastalgroup.org.uk

Chairperson

Cllr Mrs M Penfold MBE, West Dorset District Council

Vice-Chair

Cllr Jackie Branson, Havant Borough Council

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Mr Neil Watson (Environment Agency) and

Dr Samantha Cope (SCOPAC Research Chair)

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About SCOPAC

The Standing Conference on Problems Associated with the Coastline (SCOPAC) is an influential network of local authorities and other key organisations that share an interest in the sustainable management of the shoreline of central southern England.

The group came together in 1986 following a two day conference held on the Isle of Wight ('Problems Associated with the Coastline' April 1985), in order to help resolve a number of issues:

Our primary aims are:

Working Arrangements

The inaugural meeting in October 1986 established a two-tier system with a Full Conference comprising a forum for elected members (mainly local authority politicians), interest groups and technical officers.  The aim of the Full Conference was to meet and exchange information, and to approve a sub-regional research programme.

A separate Officers' Working Group, comprising technical officers, was established to investigate coastal issues, carry out research and provide feedback to the Full Conference.

A distinction in SCOPAC's membership risk was established between Full and Associate members, with both categories electing one member representative and contributing to an annual subscription.

Full members have a voting entitlement and make an additional, substantially larger, input to the budget dedicated to furthering SCOPAC's research objectives.  In the years 1986-2008 SCOPAC commissioned more than £1 million worth of valuable research to the benefit of its members.

A Strategic Overview for Flood & Coastal Erosion Risk Management

In April 2008 the Environment Agency was given a 'strategic overview for flood and coastal erosion risk management' by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).  This important development meant that, for the first time, one organisation had overall responsibility for the management of all coastal risks.  

As part of the strategic overview the existing sixteen regional coastal defence groups for England and Wales were restructured with the aim of providing a streamlined and focussed delivery of coastal erosion risk management for the future [see Coastal Groups of England].

In response to these changes SCOPAC Full Conference re-established itself as an important political voice for the coast of southern central England, whilst the former SCOPAC Officers' Working Group became the Southern Coastal Group.

Whilst the Environment Agency and local coast protection authorities had been working together effectively in many ways for a number of years, the strategic overview provides the opportunity for closer collaboration on coastal risk management, particularly in the context of climate change.

About SCOPAC

Click to view larger image

The figure above illustrates ways in which SCOPAC, together with the regional coastal groups, are working with the Environment Agency to fulfil national aspirations.