This paper introduces the Solent as a dynamic estuarine complex located on the central south coast of England. The physical and socio-cultural geographies of the Solent are described and the difficulties of managing the multiple uses of the area are discussed. The Solent Forum, a partnership of Solent stakeholders, is then presented as the facilitator of an integrated approach to coastal management in the Solent. The Solent Forum Coastal Management Conference, held in Portsmouth in 2004, is introduced as the source of the papers in this special issue. The Conference highlighted the link between the science and management aspects of the Solent in light of a suite of emergent pressures, including in physical terms development pressure and sea level change, and in legal terms the UK Marine Bill, Water Framework Directive and English ICZM Strategy. The article ends with an overview of the papers in the special issue.
- Coastal management conference
- Science-policy interface
- Solent forum