Seventh International Conference on Environmetal Problems in Coastal Regions

pcr2.jpg19 - 21 May 2008
The New Forest, UK


CoastEnvironment08.jpgThe seventh International Conference on Environmental Problems in Coastal Regions (Coastal Environment) took place recently at the New Forest (UK) Campus of the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT).

The meeting, which provided a forum for the discussion of problems related to coastal regions was very successful.  Coastal regions are most affected by population growth, industrial and tourism activities.  Those developments generate environmental, ecological, social and economic problems, the solution of which requires the interaction of many different disciplines.

The Meeting was opened by Professor Carlos Brebbia, Director of WIT and Chairman of the Conference, which described the work done at the Institute, particularly in topics related to Coastal Environment.

The contributions presented at the Conference and published in the book were grouped in the following sessions:
  • Ecology and coastal environment
  • Coastal deterioration
  • Management of risk
  • Water quality issues
  • Sediment transport
  • Coastal dunes

 Invited Presentations

coastal1.jpgA series of invited presentations by well known colleagues helped to enhance the meeting:
  • "The flushing of pollution from recreational boating in tidal embayments with application to Great Salt Pond on Block Island", by S. Mecca, Providence College, USA
  • "Assessment of the abundance of actively respiring cells and dead cells within the total bacterioplankton of the Strait of Messina waters" by G. Zappala, CNR (National Research Centre), Italy
  • coastal2.jpg"Saline stratification and its influence on fine sediment transport in a semi-enclosed tidal lagoon, West Sussex, UK" by S. Mitchell, London South Bank University, UK
  • "Analytical investigation of ice floe drift in the marginal ice zone", by M. Rahman, Dalhousie University, Canada
  • "Influence of vegetation on the propagation of flood waves", by R. Verhoeven, University of Ghent, Belgium
  • "Stability of meridionally-flowing grounded abyssal currents in the ocean", by G. Swaters, University of Alberta, Canada

 Joint Session

The conference benefited from a joint session on Hydrodynamics with the International Conference on Advances in Fluid Mechanics.  The session consisted of eight selected papers.

 Lunchtime Excursion

During the first lunch break, the delegates visited Buckler’s Hard, one of the nicest places in the New Forest.  It was an important ship-building centre during part of the 18th Century, where some of the famous ships of the British Navy were built.  It comprises a comprehensive Museum which explains the life of a sailor in those times and displays models of some of the most famous ships built there.  The excursion was most enjoyable, partly due to the excellent weather.

 Technical Excursion to the National Oceanography Centre

coastal3.jpgAnother highlight of the Conference was the technical visit to the National Oceanography Centre on the Southampton Waterfront.  The Centre belongs to the National Environment Research Centre (NERC) and the University of Southampton.  The Centre is home to some 500 research scientists, as well as being a training institution for graduate and post-graduate students.

NOCS is the national forum for oceanography in the UK with a remit to achieve scientific excellence in its own right as one of the world’s top five oceanographic research institutions.  NOCS activities empower major ocean technology development, long-term observatories, managing international research programmes, promoting enterprise and knowledge transfer, providing advice to a wide range of institutions and encouraging the engagement between science and society.

During the visit, the delegates saw the National Oceanography Library, the Channel Coast Observatory, the National Marine Facilities and the research facilities and educational activities of NOCS.

 Meeting of the International Scientific Advisory Committee

coastal4.jpgThe International Scientific Advisory Committee met during the Conference in a New Forest restaurant well known for the standards of its cuisine and its friendly atmosphere.  Ways to improve the Conference were discussed over dinner: in particular the topics were revised and new ones suggested, as well as a few nominations for new members to the ISAC being proposed.  Following the meeting, the decision was taken to reconvene the Conference, and a few locations were suggested.  The WIT Conference Division will investigate these so that the dates and location of Coastal Environment 2010 can be finalised as soon as possible.

 Conference Dinner

coastal5.jpgThe Conference dinner took place in a New Forest landmark building which is now a renowned hotel.  The building, called Rhinefield House, was the home of the Walker-Munro family, who built the house in a mock Tudor style with some outstanding rooms.  The large entrance hall roof, for instance, was built in the same way as the roof of the Palace of Westminster, while several other rooms are in different European architectural styles.  The most surprising of these is perhaps the smaller, originally a smoking room, which is decorated in the Mudijar style characteristic of Southern Spain.  The ‘geso’ work in this room is of outstanding quality and was carved out by artisans specially recruited in Spain.  The excellent standards of the dinner were enhanced by good wines.  At the end of the dinner, Professor Brebbia thanked the delegates for their support of WIT conferences and gave them a copy of the latest edition of his New Forest book as a souvenir of their visit to the New Forest.  

 Publication of Papers

The proceedings of Environmental Problems in Coastal Regions VII, 256pp, (ISBN: 1-84564-108-5) are available in hard back from WIT Press priced at £84/US$168/€205.50. Orders can be placed by telephone: +44 (0) 238 029 3223, fax: +44 (0) 238 029 2853, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or via the WIT Press web site at:

Papers from the conference will also be hosted online at the WIT eLibrary as Volume 99 of WIT Transactions on the Built Environment (ISSN: 1743-3509). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at:

Patagonia a forgotten land – from Magellan to Peron, by C.A. Brebbia,  384 pp (ISBN 978-1-84564-061-3) is available in hard back from WIT Press, priced at £33/US$59/€49.50.  Orders can be placed as above.

The New Forest: A Personal View, by C.A. Brebbia, 128pp (ISBN 1-84564-145-0) is available in hard back from WIT Press, priced at £27/US$54/€40.50.  Orders can be placed as above.