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International coastal conference comes to Hope

HCA Thursday 21 September 2017

Change, naturalness and people in coastal environments were among topics discussed at the international coastal conference Littoral 2017, hosted by the department of Geography and Environmental Science.

Littoral conferences are organised through the Coastal & Marine Union – EUCC, and have been a feature in the European coastal events calendar for 30 years. The Littoral 2017 conference was supported by the National Trust, the International Geographic Union’s Commission on Coastal Systems, the Mersey Gateway Trust and Hope College, US.

With sessions on a wide range of topics, from invasive species in dune systems to marine planning, together with two open sessions, the conference attracted delegates from as far away as Australia, Canada, the US, the Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey, Spain, Portugal, Germany and Lithuania, together with those from the four corners of the UK.

Dr Ramunas Povilanskas, Director of the Baltic EUCC Office, Lithuania, said: “Being the only person on earth who has attended all Littoral conferences since the 1993 meeting in Greece, I can assure you that the Littoral in Liverpool was among the best ones in terms of organization, the program and as a source of inspiration for further networking within EUCC.”

As part of the conference programme, delegates had the opportunity to explore the Formby dune system with the National Trust on the famous Sefton Coast, or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness the construction and environmental mitigation efforts on the £1.89 billion Mersey Gateway project.

The international delegates enjoyed a lively programme of social events, thoroughly enjoyed by all who attended. These included a tour of the Beatles venues close to the University’s Hope Park campus, a traditional meal of ‘Scouse’ in the Boot Room restaurant at Anfield, Liverpool Football Club’s stadium, and a ‘Liverpool by Night’ coach tour of the city.

Conference organiser and Deputy Head of the Department Paul Rooney said: “I am pleased that by sharing robust research and good management practice, the Littoral 2017 conference took forward the conservation agenda for our coastal environments. The coast is a special place with increasing and specialised pressures on it. Because of this, we need to continue work across geographic and disciplinary boundaries.”

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