Wales’ coastline is 2,120 km long – more than 8 times longer than its land border with significant stretches of it found in our National Parks, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONBs) and Heritage Coasts.
CPRW recognises the major challenges that we face in our coastal and estuarine environments and their implication for environmental, social and economic processes that span land and sea – and that these challenges, especially rising sea-levels and increased storm intensity and frequency, are driven by climate change.
Wales has a varied and attractive coastline with seascapes which have been influenced by and support a wide range of activities and uses. Our coastal environment makes an important contribution to our national health and well-being.
23% of our coastline is subject to active erosion and a greater extent at risk of marine flooding.
CPRW supports the restoration and recovery of natural habitats: increased coastal natural capital by providing more space at the coast for coastal processes, allowing coastal habitats to respond to sea level rise and climate-related storms, reducing the conflict between human land use and coastal change, reducing impacts of biodiversity loss, encouraging nature recovery, improving water quality, and providing opportunities for recreational access.
We also recognise that the coast consists of many highly interconnected landscapes and seascapes, with a diverse mix of ownership and governance arrangements. The management of coastal issues poses a set of complex challenges unlike those inland – and that the number and diversity of public and private sector interests is often highest at the coast, with a proportionate increase in the complexity of planning and management in this highly contested space.
CPRW acknowledges the Welsh Government’s publication of a comprehensive and extensive first Wales National Marine Plan (WNMP- 2019). We support its principal aims to protect, conserve, restore and enhance marine biodiversity and to halt and reverse its decline, including supporting the development and functioning of a well-managed and ecologically coherent network of Marine Protected Areas and resilient populations of representative, rare and vulnerable species.’