Managing coastal erosion hotspots along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area of Ghana
Like most coastlines the world over, Ghana's coast has been receding, requiring management interventions to protect coastal communities and assets of national importance. In order to adopt sound management interventions that would have a long lasting positive impact on the coastal zone, an understanding of the historic pattern of coastline change and coastal dynamics is required. This paper presents an analysis of the historic trends in coastline changes along the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area of Ghana using three shoreline data that spans a period of 38 years using ArcGIS and Digital Shoreline Analysis System tools. The study found that the Elmina, Cape Coast and Moree area had been eroding at a rate of 1.22 m/year ± 0.16 m from 1974 to 2012. It was identified that the widespread practice of beach sand mining in the area has significantly contributed to the erosion of several sections of the coastline. The study also identified the lack of an existing coastline management plan for Ghana's coast as the reason for the poor coastal erosion management techniques often used by coastal managers in response to the threat of coastal erosion, which eventually causes an acceleration of local erosion rates. The study finally makes a case for the adoption of a proactive and coordinated coastline management plan for Ghana's coast similar to that of the United Kingdom shoreline management plans because of the numerous known advantages.