There are five main management options available to Essex.
- Option one provides that nothing should be done. Thus allowing the land to erode away. However, this option would be very unsustainable, and in the long term will mean extensive land loss.
- Option two provides for the decision to deliberately allow parts of the coastline to be allowed to flood or be eroded. This has already taken place in Tollesbury (Essex), and was the first large scale managed realignment attempt in the UK. This would be sacrificial, as the few would be sacrificed for the many in land.
- Option three provides for holding the line. This would mean placing a sea wall along the coastline in attempt to hold the shore line and strop it from being eroded.
- Option four provides for moving seaward. This would mean defining a line in a seaward direction and build up to it by reclamation. This would also mean more land would be gained, and could be used for economical benefit.
- Option five provides for limited intervention. This often encourages the succession of haloseres including salt marsh and sand dunes. These results in the land behind the haloseres are sufficiently protected.
Although protecting the coastline means Essex will not be eroded or constantly flooded, many different people live in the area and will be affected by the decision made.
A Government Spokesperson said
“The cost of maintaining the sea defences along many parts of the Essex coast is greater than the benefits of those defences. The land is poor-quality farmland. It doesn’t make sense to keep paying for the maintenance of structures like groynes. ”
A farmer said
“The council should be strengthening sea defences all along the Essex coast like they have at Jaywick. My family has lived here and farmed this land for generations. The old embankment has kept the sea out for many years. I don’t believe a rise in sea level of a few centimetres will make any difference.”
A Government housing minister said
“The UK is experiencing a housing crisis. It is estimated that at least an extra 223,000 new houses or flats are needed every year. This is an extra 3 million homes between 2007 and 2020. The greatest demand for ne housing is in the south-east of England. One location where we want to see s lot of new homes is in the Thames Gateway which is on both sides of the Thames estuary. We need a coastal management plan that will protect all of this new housing for at least the next 100 years.”
An Environmentalist said
“If managed realignment is to take place we need to prioritise areas. Such as fresh water sights which are good for breading birds. We recognize we can’t protect Elmsly forever in the face of sea level rise and climate change but we think that other sites which are less important should be realigned over first. And we would like to protect Elmsly for as long as we can.”
We can see many people have different responses but on consideration of there I have decided to opt for managed realignment as our way of protection the Essex coastline. Areas of the coast are allowed to erode and flood naturally. Usually this will be areas considered to be of low value- e.g. places not being used for housing or farmland. The advantages are that it encourages the development of beaches (a natural defence) and salt marshes (important to the environment) and all at low cost. Managed realignment is a cheap option, but people will need to be compensated for loss of buildings and farmland. This will also allow for shorter more sustainable defences can be built further in land. Allowing these less valuable areas to flood will mean the more densely populated areas will be saved. This land will ultimately be sacrificial.
Here's what a star student thought of this essay
Quality of writing
The 'eager you to make a decision' does not sound right. Minor spelling mistakes and grammar errors present, but otherwise, spelling, grammar and punctuation are all to an okay level. Clear paragraphing and structures are used.
Level of analysis
The introduction is good as it outlines why flood defences are a special consideration in Essex and the impact that flooding has had on the coastline beforehand. The candidate goes on to outline why they have concluded that the present flood defence is not adequate and how they will manage this in the long term which is done to a very high level. They present the problems and what should be done about it. I would have liked to have seen short term action, and a consideration of the economic costs of each operation and the cost to wildlife as these are major considerations for food defences. The candidate displays consideration of each option to a limited degree by only suggesting simple cons behind each one, and the diagrams do not really help because they are limited in what they show. The candidate does include the impact of generic decisions on the people which shows some consideration of the wider geographical impacts and this is analysed to a high level and provides a conclusion that is adequate taking into accounts the peoples view on what should be done.
Response to question
Response to the question is done well. The candidate shows good analysis, research and consideration of a wide range of flood defences, the impact they may have on the people and in light of this the best decision. The candidate lacks thorough analysis, and could include a wider range of flood defences to consider, and should also consider economical impacts that each decision may have within a budget.