ICAN is a project of UNESCO IOC´s IODE Programme, and ICAN members seek to play a leadership role in forging international collaborations of value to the participating nations, thereby optimizing regional governance in coastal zone management and marine spatial planning.


We live on a blue planet, with oceans and seas covering more than 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. Oceans feed us, regulate our climate, and generate most of the oxygen we breathe. Some 37 per cent of the world's population lives within 100 km of the coast. (UNEP)


CWAs are "...collections of digital maps and datasets with supplementary tables, illustrations, & information that systematically illustrate the coast, oftentimes with cartographic & decision support tools, all of which are accessible via the Internet."  O'Dea et al., 2007


Membership in ICAN is open to all interested parties who agree to the mission & objectives of ICAN, including those with an operational coastal web atlas, as well as those hoping to design and build a coastal web atlas in the future.
Join us!

¡Únete a nosotros!

Coastal and Marine Information System of Andalusia (Spain) - Environmental Information Network of Andalusia

by Alejandro Iglesias Campos, Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.
Government of Andulsia / Regional Ministry of the Environment

Preparing a new atlas interface to be online soon!

The Environmental Information Network of Andalusia (REDIAM) will publish during 2012 a new coastal and marine atlas in Spanish and English with new functionalities and new contents. The new atlas interface will make easier all kind of search by citizens  and technician using the Coastal and Marine Information System of Andalusia in their daily work.

Looking for new projects with our Portuguese colleagues!

The Portuguese Geographical Institute and the Environmental Information Network of Andalusia (Spain) together with other partners from the Mediterranean have applied to the European Neighborhood Policy Instrument Call with  the AgoraMedGIS Project  to promote the sustainable and integrated planning and management of marine and coastal zones in the Mediterranean Basin, making available universal access to data and geographic information and improve knowledge, the sharing of information and articulation between stakeholders. AgoraMedGIS - Marine and Coastal Mediterranean Basin Information System, is based on the "Ágora" concept, symbol of ancient Greece direct democracy. "Ágora" was the place where the citizens use to meet and share and discuss ideas and issues that were important to all. In this sense, the tool that will be developed by the partners allows the searching for multidisciplinary information that exists about a certain place, enabling the user to filter it accordingly to his own interest or focus, or selecting data by project type, activity or thematic area and related to the Mediterranean Basin in general or to specific zones. AgoraMedGIS will transform the entire Mediterranean basin in a small village in the domain of data.

Erosion rates 1956 – 2007 in our sandy beaches!

The erosion rates constitute a very valuable indicator for understanding coastal dynamics and its effects produced by river regulations (mainly by damming them) and the construction of coastal infrastructures.

In  this  sense,  negative  erosion  rates  (regressive  coast)  show  more  vulnerability;  and  positive erosion rates (progressive coast) show less vulnerability. After calculating the erosion rates for the entire Andalusian coast during the periods 1956-1979 and 1979-2007, some stretches have been chosen and validated as being of special interest due to the intensity in coastal dynamics: the coast of Huelva, the beaches/barrier of the mouth of the San Pedro river, Velez river delta, Guadalfeo river mouth, Adra-Albuñol and Huarea rivers, as well as the coast of Campo de Dalias.

The first sector, located between the Huelva cities of Ayamonte and Punta Umbría, is characterised by having to highly changing zones at the mouth of the Guadiana and at the end of the Flecha de El Rompido and Flecha de Punta Umbría. In the sector between Mazagón and the mouth of the Guadalquivir river there is the beach and moving dunes complex of the Doñana National Park, one of the most characteristic examples of coastal progradation in Andalusia. On the other hand, the mouth of the Guadalquivir river is the most active stretch in this sector, reaching the positive rates of 10 m/year in the period 1956-1979 and up to 19 m/year in the period 1979-2007. In the province of Cadiz, in the beaches/ barrier of the mouth of the San Pedro river, it is worth remarking that the building of an industrial and port area altered completely the dynamics of the zone, which went from positive rates in the period 1956-1979 to erosion rates of up to -16 m/year in the period 1979-2007.
In the Mediterranean coast, at the mouth of the Velez and Guadalfeo rivers, there are two cases of deltas formed previously to the built-up of river mouth channels, which results in a general regression in almost all the stretches of both sectors.

The delta of Albuñol and Huarea rivers is different to the previous example, as the channelling of the mouth took place after 1956, and it does not have dams. For this reason an important progradation is shown in the first period.

The case of the Adra river, in the province of Almeria, is a “double delta” resulting from the artificial deviation of the original bed before 1956, which results, except in the oriental sector between 1956 and 1979, in negative rates in both periods. Finally, the case of the Campo de Dalias sector is highly singular, mainly because it is a stretch that receives no direct sedimentation from important river beds or watercourses. This, together with the urban growth of the 70’s, with the construction of ports and with the extraction of sand for greenhouses, has contributed to the fact the coast is, in both periods, mostly erosive.

CoastGIS 2015: 12th International Symposium for GIS and Computer Cartography for Coastal Zone Management 22-24 April 2015 Western Cape, South Africa

The 12th International Symposium for GIS and Computer Cartography for Coastal Zone Management (CoastGIS 2015) will take place in the Western Cape, South Africa, from April 22-24 2015. This event will be held back-to-back with 7th meeting of the International Coastal Atlas Network (ICAN).

The Symposium theme “Rich Data, Poor Data: Geospatial Creativity and Innovation for Managing Changing Coastal Systems” refers to the increasing demand on decision-makers and managers to be aware of changes in the coastal and marine environment.  Not only must there be a much greater emphasis on the measuring of change, but also increasing and creative options for data poor and rich environments alike, to act on the observed changes, which may have either positive or negative societal impacts.  In other words, how can CoastGIS 2015 contribute to the understanding of coastal change, and how can the powerful tools we use, as a scientific and management community; help us make better decisions, especially in data-limited environments?  Can we demonstrate how the excellence, passion and creativity in the various disciplines encompassed by CoastGIS be used to improve the use of science for decision-making relating to coastal management?

Planned sessions include:

  • Analysing and modelling coastal and marine processes
  • Spatial information and observation systems
  • Coastal risk and vulnerability
  • Advances in data visualization
  • Advances in geographical information technologies
  • Decision-support and spatial planning
  • Innovative application of geospatial technologies in coastal environments
  • Coastal mapping and monitoring
  • Coping with data scarcity in coastal and marine management
  • Coastal and marine spatial data infrastructure (SDI)
  • Application of geospatial technologies to support climate change adaptation in coastal regions

Abstract submission for the CoastGIS2015 Symposium is open and instructions on how to submit an extended abstract can be found on the website at The abstract submission deadline is 24 October 2014.  The Symposium venue is the Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge near the Cape Town waterfront and in the shadow of icon Table Mountain.  The City of Cape has many accommodation options, a vibrant inner-city social scene with numerous restaurants, bars and cafes.

Protea Hotel Breakwater Lodge, Cape Town, South Africa, the conference hotel with the Cape Town Stadium in the background

The CoastGIS2015 local organising committee and international scientific committee would love to welcome you to Cape Town in April 2015.  Please contact Louis Celliers (Esta dirección de correo electrónico está siendo protegida contra los robots de spam. Necesita tener JavaScript habilitado para poder verlo.) for more information.

The conference hotel with Signal Hill in the background. The hotel was once a 19th century prison.


Para nuestras Costas

Vol, 8, Nr 2 - Now Available!

We are now entering our 9th year publishing the ICAN newsletter. Many thanks to our Editor Andy Sherin!

Please consider preparing an article for the next newsletter that will likely be published in the spring of this year.

Happy New Year!

Photos from CoastGIS 2018

Our friends from CoastGIS 2018 have posted a wonderful gallery of photos, including the recent ICAN mini-workshop:

See how many ICAN members you can spot!