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Workshop on Coastal Zone Management at Local and Regional Level

An online workshop on coastal zone management was carried out by the Swedish National Space Agency on 15 May 2020. The workshop gathered some 20 different authorities at local, regional and national level with the aim to more precisely define a Copernicus based product that user authorities clearly can benefit from.

Overall, there was a broad consensus among the participants that the coastal zone is very much under pressure and the knowledge base for sound decision making do have gaps that can be filled with a space-based earth observation tool. Different stakeholders at European and national level started the workshop by describing what is already existing or planned in this regard, just to avoid overlapping efforts. The intended product/service should also be concrete and easy to implement within the given time frame and budget available.

Further, SNSA described the Swedish Space Data Lab:

  • Future national knowledge and data hub for Swedish authorities' work on earth observation data and for the development of AI-based analysis of data, generated in space systems
  • Purpose is to increase the use of data from space for the development of society and industry and for the benefit of the globe
  • Goal is to get data, technology and methodology in place to systematically develop services and applications that use space data in the data lab
  • By the Space Data Lab, a national infrastructure for exploitation of space data will be created in order to increase the possibilities of developing smart and effective AI solutions for everything from storage of space data to how you can manage constellations of satellites in orbit

Based on the outcome from the workshop we propose to develop an EO-based method to discover physical changes, especially dredging work along the coast and dumping at sea with the help of a trained AI. The long-term objective is to convert the method into a continuous monitoring service for prosecution of environmental crimes. Such activities are illegal in Sweden without permission and have increased over the years, especially around the larger cities. Dredging and dumping are serious threats against the marine environment in shallow waters and cause permanent damage to plant- and animal ecosystems. With the help of the continuous supply of Sentinel data it will become rather easy to define dredging activities in time. In comparison with other initiatives in the Copernicus service sector, this activity is more of an object identification method by change detection then water quality assessment.

SNSA has started the process for implementation by initiating a cooperation between Swedish institutes and universities for developing of the product.