This report is the first indicator-based assessment of the state of the coast of any regional sea in Europe, as a response to the EU recommendation for Integrated Coastal Zone Management. The purpose is to evaluate whether coasts and inshore waters of the Southern North Sea are moving furhter towards, or away from a more sustainable future, and at what pace.
The Quality Status Report presents an assessment of marine environmental conditions and of its developments in the Greater North Sea. This report is one of five regional Quality Status Reports prepared by the OSPAR Commission as part of its commitment to produce the first quality status report of the North-east Atlantic by the year 2000.
This EEA report provides information on the state of the environment in the coastal areas of Europe, and provides evidence of the need for a more integrated, long-term approach. Since 1995, concern about the state of Europe's coastline has led to a number of EU initiatives, which build on the concept of integrated coastal zone management (ICZM). ICZM attempts to balance the needs of development with protection of the very resources that sustain coastal economies. It also takes into account the public's concern about the deteriorating environmental, socio-economic and cultural state of the European coastline.