During the last century, beaches have
completely reversed their role: they have become the
driving force behind the economic welfare instead of
just being an inhospitable place. However, the demographic
pressure and the overuse of the territory related to
those factors, in the hinterland (dams in the rivers,
farming and tourism) as well as in the proper beach
(sewage discharge, dry goods extraction and crops) have
caused a general decrease in the contribution of sediments
to the beaches with a continental or a marine origin.
It is hard to find a unique solution for all those problems.
However, it should be absolutely essential to follow
- First, an Integrated Coastal
Zone Management of the beaches (see glossary).
Beaches are meant to be areas that are comprised from
the submarine area to the dunes. This implies the
reorganization of the whole territory and even of
its periphery, in a way that the natural areas can
benefit from that process and provide a concentration
of tourism in a specific area. It is also necessary
for sustainable development, that the incorporation
of the costs of environmental services and damages
(and their repairs) fall directly into the prices
of the goods, services or activities which cause them.
Thereby contributing to the implementation of the
Polluter Pays Principle in the coast. Beaches have
an economic and an environmental value and they help
to protect the coast against coastal erosion, so a
greater investment is needed.
- Second, a better dissemination
of the existing information should be achieved.
For that purpose,a better coordination of the existing
governmental bodies that deal with coastal management
is necessary. Also, the information should be accessible
to everyone. Concerning the latter aspect, scientific
journalism has to be protected and favoured, as well
as seminars where all the agents related with the
coast can exchange their opinions, results or methodologies.
- Third, an improvement of
the environmental education is essential
for a sustainable development of the coast.