The World Meteorological Society published their annual report for 2016 which unequivocally states that 2016 was the hottest ever recorded and this has continued into 2017.
According to WMO climate change is being driven by emissions form human activities but unfortunately the natural climate cycle – El Nino – contributed to pushing the world into “truly uncharted territory”.
According to the Guardian: Global sea level rise surged between November 2014 and February 2016, with the El Niño event helping the oceans rise by 15mm. That jump would have taken five years under the steady rise seen in recent decades, as ice caps melt and oceans get warmer and expand in volume. Final data for 2016 sea level rise have yet to be published.
None of us can be further than 120 kilometers (75 miles) from the sea and therefore vital to the public’s understanding of the coastline. Not my words but those of the junior minister for the environment: Rory Stewart. The English Coastal Path (ECP) is a proposed national trail that will be over 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles) long if, or when, completed. The ECP is therefore very important for many people.
The plan was announced in 2007 to link up 11 existing coastal paths to make one continuous trail. But in 2013 only 20% of the building had taken place.
The project is important for several reasons including law changes which give walkers new rights of access to typical coastal land e.g. foreshore, beaches, dunes and cliffs, including areas where everyone can rest, relax and admire the view. Most importantly the path will now be able to ‘roll back’ as the cliffs erode or slip – enabling a replacement route to be put in place quickly if necessary, so solving longstanding difficulties with maintaining a continuous route along the coast.
We’ve heard that routes in Lancashire, Lincolnshire, Hampshire, Devon and Essex need particular attention in order to meet the 2020 deadline. In addition completion of the ECP translates to local income: people who do tourism calculations estimate that for every mile completed it generates up to £600,00 in the SW England (SW Coast Path report). Interestingly visits to coastal areas generate about £18 as opposed to just £6 to the countryside.
River Ocean, with our partners, will be tracking the progress of this once in a generation project. We’re asking for your individual local expertise/knowledge to tell us what’s happened so far.
Welcome to the relaunched website – it’s been a little while due to a variety of circumstances – for those interested in the background you can read about it here.
We wanted our revamped website content and design to celebrate the seventeenth anniversary of our annual Lowtide event – an inter-tidal festival held on the Saturday in May with lowest tide.
So much has happened since we began, but certain themes are still with us – particularly the idea of ‘integrated catchment management’ – a fancy way of saying pollutants we put in our rivers basins will end up in the sea. We can also apply those principles to energy consumption and production within a watershed as well as waste. Integrated catchment management still presents an exciting way of understanding our world from a new perspective.
We continue to be alarmed at the data about climate change and the implications for sea-level rise (affecting especially low lying islands) and European flooding (what a winter it’s been for some of us!) Further, things are not looking good biodiversity, aquatic or otherwise.
The question is what are we going to do about it? We could, and will! discuss and raise awareness about water issues until the proverbial cows come home and then send them out again to pollute any waterways we have left. Here’s a good article by George Monbiot about our fairy-tale farming stories as told by the National Farmers’ Union and others.
Will you join us in both debate and action? We will have the campaigns, events, tools and desire to achieve this. But we need help and support of course.