Gulf Harbour Marina

The concept of ‘urban sprawl’ is wellunderstood and relates to the global trend of villages, towns and cities growing and sprawling out across the surrounding landscape. The term ‘ocean sprawl’ is used to describe coastal engineering works and structures that are increasingly sprawling out into our estuaries, harbours and oceans. These include marinas, wharves, structures for coastal protection and flood defence, roads and bridges, pipes, cables, dredging and disposal areas, shipwrecks, aquaculture structures, and reclamations. The growing number and cumulative effects of artificial structures in the coastal environment affects marine ecosystems, landscapes, amenity values and options for future uses.

Urban and ocean sprawl go together, as many of our main centres were built beside the sea. Ports and wharves are needed to move people and goods. Facilities are required to launch, store, maintain and refuel vessels. Important land transport corridors traverse coastal sections, and groynes are used to protect seaside homes from coastal erosion. Expansion and protection of this infrastructure is commonly accommodated through progressive reclamation. Stormwater, wastewater and industrial discharges often occur through coastal or ocean outfalls. Navigational aids are needed to safely guide vessels into ports and harbours. Marine farming is an important source of income and employment. As a result, many parts of the Marine Park and its shores have been highly modified.

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