The overall objective of this project is to set up a network of local authorities, national administrations, and coastal interest groups located in six European countries, in order to find new and innovative techniques for managing coastal erosion and coastal planning processes. Ultimately, MESSINA aims to maximise the benefit of future investments in coastline management and to raise public awareness about the need to manage the coastline in a sound and sustainable way.
Achievements so far 'Monitoring European Shorelines and Sharing Information on Nearshore Areas' operation is now completed after three years of activities with the goal of improving the coastal local management and bring methods and tools to afford local authorities to drive their coastal management policies. MESSINA partners have brought together their experience and built a Coastal Toolkit comprising Practical Guides on (i) existing monitoring and modelling techniques for coastal local management in Europe; (ii) valuing methods compared as a basis to elaborate local shoreline management plans; (iii) engineering techniques advantages and drawbacks compendium with focus to innovative techniques in Europe and abroad; (iv) GIS tools implemented and recommended to help the decision-making process at local level, integrating either monitoring/modelling methods or valuing concepts applied on concrete coastal case-studies around Europe. Using a common methodology applied to produce intermediate outputs and within a first phase of 'marketing' the project through local thoughts and lobbying to local authorities, the partners have perceived a real enthousiasm and reported the expectations from local level coastal management. The second and crucial phase occurred with lots of local investigations, field surveys, data collection, stock taking so as to compile the essential information needed to produce a State-of-the-Art in all domains retained. Further 'Success Stories' documented as Case-Studies have been compiled as Best Practices examples to endeavour Recommendations as part of MESSINA Practical Guides. As a basis of compilation into Practical Guides, a series of workshops has been organized to present, discuss and validate the recommendations made. Results have been dissimenated before the summer 2006 through mailing and operation's website. The occasion was given to expose to the coastal international community the MESSINA Coastal Toolkit produced during the Littoral2006 international conference event held in Gdansk from 18th to 22nd of September 2006. MESSINA partners also invited the attendees of Littoral2006 and its Post-Conference Trip to take part on September 23/09/06 to a Conference in Rewal (PL) where a presentation of the GIS coastal integrated features for spatial planning was made, as a concrete real application of the activities made for and with the local coastal authority of the Rewal Municipality. All relevant informations regarding the MESSINA operation and especially the MESSINA Coastal Toolkit can be seen and downloaded from the operation website www.interreg-messina.org