Hannah Barnes – MSc Student, University of Portsmouth

We have awarded a research grant to Hannah Barnes, an MSc Student in Coastal and Marine Resource Management. Despite growing up within the East Midlands, Hannah has a strong affinity with the Solent coastline which developed during her time in Portsmouth studying her undergraduate degree, BSc Physical Geography. From a young age, Hannah frequently visited Swansea Bay, Wales and Great Yarmouth Beach, Norfolk during trips to see family. As she got older, she noticed the important relationship between coastal users and the coastline itself – often underappreciated and undervalued by the public despite many coastlines having environmental designations to protect marine ecosystems and promote sustainable practice of anthropogenic activity. Furthermore, she has developed an interest in marine planning, policy, governance and conservation whilst studying her Master’s Degree and wishes to pursue a career in this sector. During her time studying the Solent, she wishes to participate and make a difference to improve the awareness and understanding of the importance of protected marine areas, improving stakeholder participation in the planning process of marine management for years to come.

Research Project

The overall aim of Hannah’s research is to critically evaluate the perception of coastal users towards the Chichester Harbour AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) Management Plan. She will be working closely with the Friends of Chichester Harbour (FoCH) and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy Advisory Committee (CHCAC) throughout her Research Project. It is critical to recognise the importance of environmentally designated areas (EDAs) in coastal areas of the United Kingdom; specifically the implementation of AONB designations to protect and conserve coastal and marine environments, habitats and species.

Chichester Harbour is one of 46 AONBs in the United Kingdom, with natural, developed and historic environments valued by its surrounding coastal communities. Exacerbated climate change through human activity has detrimental impacts on the coastal and marine environment. Therefore, it is important to implement marine management initiatives using an ecosystem based approach to maintain and improve the health of the marine ecosystem alongside appropriate and sustainable human use of the marine environment and its resources. Societal values and support are important factors in achieving a common goal within EDAs using an integrated, ecosystem-based approach towards marine management, which if surveyed, can provide insight into the success of management initiatives and policies in place.

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