Copy of `Essex Estuarine Strategy - Environmental terms`

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Essex Estuarine Strategy - Environmental terms
Category: Earth and Environment > Water
Date & country: 14/11/2007, UK
Words: 41


Advance The Line
The construction of a new flood management scheme in front of existing flood defences

Appraisal
The process of defining objectives, examining options and weighing up the coasts, benefits, risks and uncertainties before a decision is made.

Biodiversity Action Plans (BAPS)
A strategy for conserving and enhancing wild species and wildlife habitats in the UK.

Brushwood Polders
Low wooden stakes are driven into intertidal area and interwoven with brushwood in an attempt to create areas of shelter against waves or strong currents to encourage silt to settle.

Climate Change
Ultraviolet radiation passes through the Earths atmosphere and warms the planet`s surface before being reflected back into space as infrared radiation. Gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are called Greenhouse gases, which trap some of the heat from radiation in the atmosphere. The concentration of these gases has increased dramatically as a result of human activity therefore trapping more heat and thus causing global temperatures to increase and climates to change.

Coastal Protection
Those measures taken under the Coastal Protection Act 1949 to protect against coastal erosion and undertaken largely by the Local Authorities and private landowners.

Coastal Squeeze
Areas of saltmarsh or mudflat that become trapped between the seawall and the rising sea levels.

Compulsory Purchase Order
A piece of land required for development is purchased regardless of consent from the landowner in accordance with statutory procedures. Landowners affected by CPOs will receive compensation reflecting the loss they have sustained as a direct result.

Economic Appraisal
An appraisal that takes into account a wide range of coastal benefits, generally those which can be valued in monetary terms.

Eu Habitats Directive
To provide for conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora in Europe.

Exit Strategy
A document that presents future options for land owners, where there is no economic justification for the Environment Agency to continue maintaining the existing flood defences.

Flood Compartment
A discrete area of flood-risk that is bounded by raised land features or structures, which prevent the passage of flood waters.

Flood Defence
The Water Resources Act (1991) gives the Environment Agency general supervision over all matters related to Flood Defence. The Agency has the main responsibly for the prevention of flooding of lowland under the Land Drainage Act (1991). The Agency`s powers are permissive thus it does not have to maintain flood defences if it is deemed no longer necessary.

Flood Management Strategy
A long-term approach to developing and setting out the policy, objectives and options for flood defence taking into account a broad range of local, national and international issues.

Foreshore Recharge
Area of beach between mean low and mean high water mark where material is placed in front of existing seawalls and defence.

Groynes
Fixed structures extending out from the seawall used to control erosion or promote deposition.

Habitat
A habitat is the place in which an organism lives; this could range from being a small pond or a rainforest.

Habitats Directive
A European Directive that aims to provide for conservation of natural habitats and wild fauna and flora in Europe.

Hinterland
The area landward of the flood defences.

Hold The Line
Maintaining the existing flood defences and control structures in their present positions and increase the standard of protection against flooding in some areas.

Hydrodynamic Modelling
Allows water movements, speeds and directions to be simulated on a computer to give a representation of how the estuary processes work and predicts how future processes (as a result of sea level rise or changes to flood defences) might behave.

Intertidal Zone
The range of depths between highest and lowest extent of the tides.

Invertebrates
Any organism that does not have a skull, vertebral column and well developed brain. Examples of such an animal would be the rag worm Nereis diversicolor. Commonly found in large numbers buried in the mud and sands of our coasts and estuaries.

Isostatic Adjustment
Vertical changes of the land brought about by geological processes that have occurred locally

Limited Intevention
Maintenance and repair of flood defences only if categorised for health and safety reasons.

Managed Realignment
The policy of Managed Realignment involves the placement of a new Managed Realignment flood defence landward of the existing flood defences or realignment to higher ground. This policy would be achieved through the partial or complete removal of the existing flood defences or through regulated tidal exchange. This policy would be gradually implemented and regularly monitored in order to study any potential effects on the overall estuary shape.

No Active Intervention
There would be no further active intervention by the Environment Agency. Without intervention the defences would eventually fail and areas currently protected from flooding would no longer be protected. This would happen gradually over a long period of time. However, land owners may be entitled to pay for the continued maintenance of the flood defences or undertake maintenance themselves following the preparation of an Exit Strategy.

Preferred Options
Flood management options that meet most or all of the strategic objectives. There is high confidence at a strategic level that these options are feasible and should be developed by undertaking a detailed scheme appraisal prior to implementation.

Ramsar Treaty
Provides the framework for the conservation of wetlands and their resources.

Regulated Tidal Exchange
The regulated exchange of sea water to an area behind fixed flood defences, through engineered structures such as sluices, tide-gates or pipes, to create saline or brackish habitats.

Return Period
The average length of time separating flood events of a similar magnitude: a 100-year flood will occur on average once in every 100 years.

Saltmarsh
An intertidal habitat comprising salt tolerant vegetation. Frequency and duration of tidal inundation determines which plants and animal species are present. Salt marshes are bisected by meandering creek systems, which allow tidal waters to drain in and out. The creeks slow down tidal energy and the marsh plants slow down wave energy.

Sea Level Rise
The rise and fall of sea levels throughout time in response to global climate and local tectonic changes.

Shoreline Management Plans (SMPS)
A national initiative for the future planning of the coastline taking a holistic approach to include all coastal authorities. The document brings together information pertaining to coastal issues such as flooding, erosion, coastal process and human and environmental needs.

Special Area Of Conservation (SAC)
The Habitats Directive lists important species and habitats that if present in a Member State should be considered for designation within a Special Area of Conservation.

Special Landscape Area
Non-statutory designation in a Local Plan

Special Protection Area (SPA)
Member States should, under the Conservation of Wild Birds (The Birds Directive identifies internationally important areas for breeding, over-wintering and migrating birds.)

Standard Of Protection
The flood event return period above which significant damage and possible failure of the flood defences could occur.

Strategies
A long term plan, known as a flood defence management strategy, is developed and sets out the policy and objectives for flood defence taking into account a broad range of local interests and issues.

Sustainability
The degree to which flood and coastal defence solutions avoid tying future generations into flexible and/or expensive options for defence. This will usually include consideration of inter-relationships with other defences and likely developments and processes within a catchment or coastal cell.

Water Framework Directive
A European Directive that aims to establish a framework for the protection of inland surface waters (rivers and lakes), transitional waters (estuaries), coastal waters and groundwater.