The quality of coastal and estuarine waters is fundamental to the economic and social value of fisheries and tourism, as well as marine habitats and wildlife. However the same geographic area needs to accommodate the development needs of harbour transport, commercial fishing activities and local communities.

The Sussex coastline and its estuaries are designated as 'heavily modified' waterbodies under the Water Framework Directive. Over time, they have to reach 'good ecological potential'. This means managing these waterbodies in a way that maximises the health and diversity of the ecology without compromising the economic and social requirements of the area. This is achieved by actively mitigating against the impacts of local activities.

The natural coastal environments have no doubt shaped, and been shaped by, ecological systems, economic activities and coastal communities as communities have moved in and evolved. This will continue to happen, but needs to happen in a joined up way that ensures development and commercial activities benefit from the natural environment, without natural processes deteriorating. In this way this iconic coastline will remain vibrant and alive.

Design by LTD Design Consultants and build by Garganey Consulting. From an original concept by the Herts and Middlesex Wildlife Trust.