Coastal and Marine Environment
The Coastal and Marine Environment (C and ME) Programme
- Background Information
- Goals of the Program
- Coordination of CME
- The Need for CME
The Gambia Environment Action Plan (GEAP) defines the Coastal Zone as “an important natural and economic resource which if utilized in a sustainable manner will yield important economic, social and environmental benefits”. In view of the different issues at stake and the different actors operating within this coastal zone, the Coastal and Marine Environment (CME) program was established with a view to coordinating activities in this area and minimizing conflicts.
The overall goal is sustainably managing the rich animal and plant life of the coastal and marine areas
The CME program is responsible for coordinating and monitoring of coastal and marine related activities of The Gambia’s 81 kilometres of open Atlantic coastline and about 200km of sheltered coast along the River Gambia. The programme serves as a clearinghouse and collection point for CME issues. Through the Programme, institutional partners are brought together to solve problems. They monitor trends and adjust on-going programmes to take these trends into account. It coordinates these activities under the auspices of CME Working Group whose membership entails government and non-government institutions with major stake in coastal zone management. The Group facilitates coordination of activities related to the management of the coastal and marine environment and is the advisory body to the National Environment Management Council (NEMC).
The territorial sea of the Gambia extends to 12 nm with an EEZ extending to 200 nm. The seas off Gambia are located where two major oceanic currents converge along the coast of West Africa. One is the highly productive upwelling zone of the Canary Current Large Marine Ecosystem (CCLME) which is cold and nutrient rich water flowing southward. The other is the eastward-flowing warm Guinea current. The effects of these currents together with the trade winds which blow dominantly from the Sahara Desert westerly out over the Atlantic create intermittent upwelling along the coast of The Gambia. These upwelling, combined with the outflow of the Gambia River provide the nutrients that fuel a bountiful marine ecosystem. The CME are a rich source of animal & plant life which are used daily.
Routine/regular coastal monitoring and Bi-annual bio-physical beach and backshore monitoring
- To survey the shape (morphology/gradient or slope) of a beach
- To identify change over time on a particular beach
- To identify, document and map areas of intense erosion and accretion along the entire shoreline
- To identify, document and map areas of intense economic activities along the entire shoreline
- To examine the effects of management interventions on beach processes and morphology
- To investigate seasonal changes in the beach profile and compare that with long term changes to the beach
- To identify potential impacts from development activities on a target beach
Monitoring ongoing coastal dynamics including coastal erosion and recommend the appropriate interventions