MESSINA stands for "Managing European Shoreline and Sharing Information on Near-shore Areas". This initiative has been proposed by a number of national, regional and local institutions to the INTERREG III C West zone programme of the European Union. This initiative was approved on December 15, 2003.
Coastal resources provide a broad variety of recreational and economic opportunities for the European citizens. These opportunities rely on maintenance of the environmental quality and character of beaches and coastal systems. With the continuing migration of citizens to the coastal zone, however, the character and quality of the shoreline is changing. High population density continually affects the natural processes governing stability and change along the shoreline. This situation has increased exposure of the public and property to risks associated with coastal storms and erosion.
In spite of major efforts invested in Europe since the mid-1980's, efforts which have contributed to assess and document the exposure of European coasts to coastal hazards, and accumulate knowledge on coastal systems, significant gaps still remain, and speak out for increased partnership among European coastal authorities. Below is an overview of such major coastal management gaps in Europe:
The MESSINA initiative intends to partly bridge these gaps by breaking "knowledge isolation" of some local authorities and institutions in Europe, by raising their managerial and technical capabilities through a mutualisation of the experience accumulated by each of them, and by upgrading existing shoreline management guidelines through an integration of the latest techniques and methods available in Europe.
The long term objective of MESSINA is to help bridge these gaps by breaking "knowledge isolation" of some local authorities and institutions in Europe and by raising their managerial and technical capabilities through a mutualisation of the experience accumulated by each of them. More operationally, MESSINA is expected to:
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.
MESSINA is proposing a "Coastal Manager Toolkit" made of four Practical Guides entitled:
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