The 2009 Marine and Coastal Access Act (MACAA) has improved coastal access; created marine regulators; and is helping to establish a series of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs), marine plans, and different aspects of marine licensing. Since 2009, devolved administrations have built on MACAA and established their own Marine Acts (Marine Scotland Act 2010; Marine Act Northern Ireland 2013), and Wales has development an Environment Act in 2016.
The 2011 UK Marine Policy Statement set out a vision for the UK, to deliver ‘clean, healthy, safe, productive and biologically diverse oceans and seas’.
In 2012, the UK government’s Coastal Communities Fund (CCF) was launched to support ‘coastal communities that are able to use their assets (physical, natural, social, economic and cultural) to promote sustainable economic growth and jobs’. The initiative, administered by the Big Lottery Fund, reinvests some of the profits made from coastal and marine assets, managed by The Crown Estate, back into the communities closest to them. Since 2012, it has awarded grants to 218 organisations across the UK to the value of £125 million, and this funding is forecast to deliver over 18,000 jobs UK-wide, and help attract over £240 million of additional funds to coastal areas.
In 2015, the government announced that the CCF will be extended to 2021 with at least £90 million of new funding available. Also in 2015, the UK government supported the creation of 118 Coastal Community Teams in England – bringing together local residents, business, and councils. The teams have been tasked with coordinating regeneration projects in their area and helping to shape bids for the Coastal Communities Fund.