Applying the structure presented earlier:

Aim: to identify areas of coastal conflict
Data needs: The location of the nature conservation sites, shipping and recreational lanes, and swimming areas.
Model: each set of location data should be stored as an individual data layer. These can then be overlaid to reveal where the areas of overlap are. These areas are the places that uses overlap, it is important to note that they may not be the same as areas in which conflict occurs. This information will need to be interpreted to be useful.
Assemble data: use techniques outlined in answer 2 to collect the data.
Enter data: enter the data into the GIS using appropriate methods. This will vary according to the data source, however, is likely to include scanning and manual digitising.
Interrogate the GIS: use appropriate aspects of the GIS software to overlay the data layers to derive an image showing areas of overlap (indicative of conflict).
Make decision: the locations of conflict will allow you to make a decision regarding how the conflict should be managed.