Research and analysis

Loss of fringing habitat and transitional communities from coastal squeeze

Evidence requirement R014: Loss of fringing habitat and transitional communities from coastal squeeze


Loss of fringing habitat and transitional communities from coastal squeeze

This file may not be suitable for users of assistive technology. Request an accessible format.

If you use assistive technology (such as a screen reader) and need a version of this document in a more accessible format, please email Please tell us what format you need. It will help us if you say what assistive technology you use.


Requirement R014

To identify areas of current or projected coastal squeeze, define the extent of habitat loss as a result of coastal squeeze and assess impacts on vulnerable sites.

Requirement detail:

Marine plans need to address issues at the coast as well as in the seas around England. Coastal squeeze is an issue that is regularly highlighted as a concern by stakeholders during the development of marine plans.

To support the development of marine plans, the MMO is looking to:

  • use existing data on habitat extent and fixed structures to identify areas of current and potential coastal squeeze
  • identify which measures prevent coastal squeeze, or mitigate and potentially compensate for its impacts, and would be appropriate for use in marine plans
  • highlight how opportunities for synergy with existing activity, for example the work of the Environment Agency on coastal and flood defence

Work to fulfil this requirement would look at where coastal squeeze is an issue now or could be in the future and what methods might be most appropriately deployed in different locations.

For the purposes of this requirement, coastal squeeze is be defined, ‘as one form of coastal habitat loss, where intertidal habitat is lost due to the high water mark being fixed by a defence or structure (i.e. the high water mark residing against a hard structure such as a seawall) and the low water mark migrating landwards in response to sea level rise’ (Pontee (2013)).

MMO use:

Marine Planning: Improve identification of areas where coastal squeeze may be an issue now or in the future and improve how marine plans consider the issue of coastal squeeze, including potentially through plan policies.

External interest:

Natural England, Environment Agency

Delivery target:

2018, Q1

Published 14 March 2017