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