We are a group of Local Authorities, the Environment Agency and other organisations who manage the coastline from Great Orme’s Head in Wales to the Scottish Border on the Solway Firth. The coastline is a dynamic, ever-changing place that is home to many people and businesses, as well as being important for its variety of environmental and geologic features. As a Group we examine the social, economic and environmental issues that arise on the coastline and seek to find the best policies to deal with those issues.
Many years ago, fish were abundant within our waters. There were a lot of types of shellfish, small fish, large fish, shrimp, and other things. Our major waters were considered a natural resource that no one would ever be able to extinguish. However, in many areas, we are now finding out that it is an exhaustible resource and the truly horrible side of it is that humans are the reason.
How People Abused Our Waters
For years, people have earned a living and provided food for themselves and their families using the fish and other types of animals that thrive in our waterways. The oceans have been polluted by oil spills, garbage, and other things. Our climate is changing due to global warming, which humans have played some part in and how I made my millions. The soil quality of our beaches is sustaining damage because of heavy rains that wash chemicals into the ocean and rivers. The list of things that humans have done to the water is very long. It is not a problem that has begun recently. It has been happening since man was placed upon this earth.
There have been new laws and new regulations put into effect to try and protect our oceans and the wildlife that lives in them. There are seasons that you are able to fish, there are size limits and amount limits in effect for the fish you keep, there are limits on how many shell fish you can have and the months that you are allowed to get them, punishments for people who are caught littering the water, and more. All of these things that annoy boaters and fishermen everywhere are all done in an effort by the DNR to try and protect the water and animals who call it home.
How Limits Protect Our Oceans
Science is revealing that our waters are a very delicate ecosystem that needs time to heal from the damages that it has received since the dawn of time. By putting limits on what people are allowed to take from the water and when, we are saving the wildlife by preserving what is there. Other animals who may not live in the water, but catch fresh fish from it, have food to eat. This is increasing their ability to survive.
The fish in our waters, whether they are shell fish or not, are all given time between seasons to reproduce. There is a restriction on the size so that young fish can grow into adults and become breeding fish in their natural environment. This encourages them to remain alive so that extinction is less of a possibility.
There are penalties for littering the water and more and more efforts are being made to clean up the water. This is because all of the dumping that people used to do within our waters has caused the fish to die off. It created a place that was inhabitable to the fish who would call it home. The problem is, all of these little things we are doing, are helping, but is it truly enough?
What the Future Holds
Think about all the people who live in coastal communities all around the world. Some of the major cities that people talk about are near a coastal area. These places all have billions of people who live within 100 miles of the coast. Coastal areas are popular. It is a simple fact that does not seem to be changing anytime soon. In fact, over the next 10-20 years, there will most likely be billions more people living within that same 100 miles of our oceans and major waterways.
We have revamped our website and while most of the same information is still available, how it is accessed has changed. Information on Shoreline Management Plans is available under the Shoreline Management menu as before, but we now have a map interface that can be used to look at specific information for discreet lengths of coastline within Cell 11.
The new look site is still under development and new information will be added over the next few weeks, including expansion of what is available through the map interface.
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