The Regional Monitoring Programme comprises field-based, remote sensing, and environmental surveys to provide detailed baseline digital mapping of marine and terrestrial environments. Techniques include collection and analysis of topographic and bathymetric data, hydrodynamic data, vegetation mapping, and sediment types and budgets.
The surveys produce valuable datasets will aid better engineering designs, and improve understanding of climate change factors and coastal processes. Over time this information will be an increasingly important resource for future research and management. The information and analysis will be an important element in strategic planning and operational management and enable the performance of existing schemes to be evaluated.
The Channel Coastal Observatory are working closely with Environment Agency and English Nature with the view to expanding the existing monitoring programme to incorporate the collection of coastal ecological data. This information will be valuable for informing Coastal Habitat Management Plans and Biodiversity Action Plans, as well as updating the condition of many designated nature conservation sites.
Aerial Photograph Analysis
Aerial photography has been collected for the 1940's, 1954, 1968 from the National Monuments Record, and 1980 from the Environment Agency. The 2001 photography was commissioned by NFDC as part of an extensive coastal monitoring programme. The photography has been processed and imported into a Geographic Information System (GIS). The beaches, and salt marsh cheniers have then been mapped to highlight any change. (Cheniers are shell and gravel deposits that fringe the marshes and are good indicators of salt marsh erosion).
The analysis of these aerial photographs as shown in the 'Coastal Change' series of PDF files, provides an extremely good visual method of demonstrating the dynamic evolution of the coastline.