Journal of Coastal Conservation

, Volume 16, Issue 4, pp 439–448 | Cite as

The effectiveness of coastal management web portals – a critical analysis

  • Matthias Mossbauer
  • Gerald Schernewski
  • Steffen Bock


Effective and efficient information dissemination is crucial for a successful management of coasts and beaches. Almost all coastal management activities use Internet portals to provide electronic accessibility of data and information. In this respect, we have analyzed web tracking data and costs to investigate the effectiveness and efficiency of two coastal management web portals. Indicators for the visiting quality, the volume and characteristics of the information flow and the associated costs were combined. The results show that mainly professional users were attracted by the two investigated online coastal management information offers. Furthermore, the coastal management contents were mainly relevant on regional scale. The results indicate that it is not enough to provide various information, instead it further needs also efforts to disseminate this information to a broader public. Specific preparation and presentation of information for the target groups would lead to an active dissemination process. The investigation of the costs shows that an increasing efficiency of information dissemination via the Internet goes together with the long term use of the information infrastructure. Therefore large coastal management web portals need runtimes of several years. The applied method combined and simplified actual used web analytic methods to allow valuable insights into the information dissemination of coastal management web portals. In this way the method can be used to help coastal decision makers or other practitioners to screen their web presence in the background of information supply and demand for all visitor groups they want to reach.


Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) German Baltic coast Costs Internet 



The work was funded by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research within the projects IKZM-Oder III (BMBF 03F0465A), BaltCICA (Part-financed by Baltic Sea Region Programme of the European Union) and RADOST (BMBF 01LR0807).

We like to thank Inga Krämer, Stefanie Boede and Dana Weiss for many helpful comments on the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Mossbauer
    • 1
  • Gerald Schernewski
    • 1
  • Steffen Bock
    • 1
  1. 1.Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea ResearchRostockGermany

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