European coastal areas offer a variety of recreational and economic opportunities to the continent’s citizens and these depend largely on maintaining the environmental quality and character of beaches and coastal systems. With the continuing migration of citizens towards coastal areas however, the character and quality of the shoreline is changing. High population density is affecting the natural processes that govern both environmental and geological processes. This, in turn, has increased public exposure to the risks associated with coastal storms and erosion, such as property damage.
Despite efforts by many European public authorities to compile information on the hazards facing coastal systems, there is still much to discover and suggests the need for increased partnership amongst European coastal authorities.
Ultimately, MESSINA aims at maximizing the benefits of future investments in coastline management and raise the public awareness about the need to manage the coastline in a sound and sustainable way. The expected outputs of the project include a "coastal manager toolkit" made of 4 practical guides ("Monitoring and modelling the shoreline", "Valuing the shoreline", "Engineering the shoreline", "Integrating the shoreline into spatial planning policies") and a demo CDROM featuring a GIS-based prototype of shoreline management planning.