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Veloso-Gomes, F., Taveira-Pinto, F.: Portuguese coastal zones and the new coastal management plans. Journal of Coastal Conservation, 9: 25-34, 2003.


Abstract. Coastal zones in Portugal, as interface areas between land and sea, have problems related to the growing human pressure in terms of changes in land use associated with urban and industrial occupation, new accessibility (ports, motorways) and traffic flows, intensification of recreational use (beaches, water sports) and excessive fishing. Impacts include deterioration of water quality and sediments; alteration and degradation of natural habitats; new hydrodynamic situations; major landscape changes; and rapid changes in habits and way of life of the local populations and increased exposure of populations and assets to natural and induced risks (storms, accidents, spills, explosions). Plans for the Management of the Coastal Zone (POOC) have been developed and seven of them have been approved, while two similar plans are at a final stage of preparation. Together they cover the entire coast of Portugal. Their implementation and assessment could be a first step towards an integrated management of the Portuguese coastal zones. River Basin Management Plans (PBH) have been concluded and recently approved for the whole country. However, these plans do not consider estuarine systems and some other issues related to coastal systems. The National Water Plan (PNA) is under public presentation and discussion. Several ‘key messages’ are presented in this paper as a contribution for assessment of the proposals of this plan on issues related with coastal waters.

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