Over the next century, ongoing coastal change will require a change in the way flood and erosion risks are managed in some areas. Such changes may have significant effects on local stakeholders and may require varying degrees of adaptation. It is therefore important for these stakeholders to be able to enter fully into the consultation process associated with these issues. This paper describes an innovative approach to stimulate public debate and improve stakeholder understanding of the issues that need to be balanced in order to achieve sustainable long-term coastal management solutions. The approach involves the creation of an educational tool (CoastRanger MS) that allows users to manage a virtual coast within a PC-gaming–type environment. CoastRanger MS incorporates a legacy of past developments and defences, and uses a coastal process simulator to predict the impacts of climate change under different management scenarios chosen by the user. In the UK, it is anticipated that the tool will be of particular value in educating stakeholders before and during the development of strategic coastal management plans.

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