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Mar Pollut Bull. 2008;57(1-5):3-7. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.04.014. Epub 2008 May 27.

'Our shared responsibility': participation in ecological projects as a means of empowering communities to contribute to coastal management processes.

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  • 1Dove Marine Laboratory, School of Marine Science and Technology, Newcastle University, Cullercoats, Tyne and Wear, UK.


The objective of this project was to empower people of Blyth Valley in Northumberland (northeast England) to contribute to the management of their coastal heritage. A group of volunteers, the Links Conservation Group, working in collaboration with the environmental managers (Blyth Valley Borough Council), scientists, local specialists and other volunteers, surveyed the biodiversity, social, cultural and industrial history and profiles of the dunes, as well as their perceived value to local residents. The Group used this information to develop management plans for the dunes. The recommendations have contributed to planning processes at three levels: (i) national coastal management plans; (ii) regional plans; and (iii) plans for further action at the local community level.

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