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Marine Aggregate Production: the challenge of meeting the nation's needs without serious environmental consequences

Citizenship Unit 12 - Global issues, local action

For some general background about these units and how to use them, please read our teachers’ briefing.

In this unit, pupils explore the nation’s increasing needs for sand and gravel from marine sources, the strict controls imposed on its extraction and the environmental costs and benefits involved.

The Government’s plans for a significant increase in house building, London’s successful bid for the 2012 Olympics and the need for coastal defence schemes will require a sustainable increase in the supply of marine aggregates. Increasing environmental pressures on land-based resources make it likely that marine resources – currently providing for around 20% of our sand and gravel needs – will be critically important.

Will increased marine aggregate dredging destroy archaeological remains, threaten our coastline and harm our already fragile marine wildlife, or are the current safeguards adequate? What are the worldwide implications of using marine aggregates and how do different countries control their production?

The unit also looks at two case studies – Hallsands in South Devon, a scheme from 100 years ago when scientific knowledge was minmal and social responsibility was a small consideration, and the North Norfolk coast, a modern scheme designed to avert serious environmental changes caused by natural coastal erosion.

The unit offers opportunities for first-hand research (site visits and questionnaire), the use of secondary sources (local press, radio and TV reports, internet), role-plating exercise (a public enquiry) and the production of a report which can be submitted to the Local Authority, the Environment Agency and the local marine aggregate producer.

This unit is made up of:

Title Size Format
DownloadFront Cover 484kb Word Document
Teacher introductions: DownloadBackground information 44kb Word Document
DownloadOverview 44kb Word Document
DownloadLearning Objectives and Outcomes - based on adapted QCA unit 96kb Word Document
Lesson 1: DownloadPlan 36kb Word Document
DownloadResources 36kb Word Document
Lesson 2: DownloadPlan 28kb Word Document
DownloadResources 20kb Word Document
Lesson 3: DownloadPlan 46kb Word Document
DownloadExtension work 26kb Word Document
DownloadResources 28kb Word Document
DownloadHallsands resource pack 1.2mb Zip file
DownloadNE Norfolk resource pack 1.7mb Zip file
Lesson 4: DownloadPlan 26kb Word Document
DownloadResources 20kb Word Document
Lesson 5: DownloadPlan 32kb Word Document
DownloadResources 24kb Word Document
DownloadEntire Unit 1.2mb PDF Document
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