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Eforie Case Study


The Eforie Case Study was undertaken by the National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa”, Constanta, Romania, as part of the EU co-funded project on cross border maritime spatial planning in the Black Sea, Romania and Bulgaria (MARSPLAN - BS). The project aimed to include a land-sea interaction study area, with a particular focus on coastal erosion arising from sedimentary processes, marine currents, port development, building areas, tourism and seeking appropriate solutions.

Eforie is a traditional double resort area, located to the south of Constanta City, extending for 10 km along the Black Sea coast, bounded by some headlands. It has a rich natural setting, with diverse wetlands and habitats, including a small freshwater lake (Belona), another hypersaline lake (Techirghiol - with therapeutical mud), separated from the sea by coastal strips, now heavily developed. Eforie North and South are historic spa resorts, which have extended with mass beach tourism to each-other, starting from Constanta Southern Port, linked to the Danube-Black Sea Chanel, continuing with a narrow coastal belt. A recent jetty development has improved the port conditions and the beaches have been enlarged by sandy nourished.

The area is particularly vulnerable to coastal erosion because of hydrological pressures and geological and geomorphological conditions, such as soft cliffs. Shoreline retreat has been exacerbated by human activities, such as urban development that has led to loss of sandy dunes, dams on the Danube; these have reduced sediment input, and barriers that have impeded sediment flow. A 2011 master plan for coastal protection recommended measures such as dikes to reduce wave energy, groins to accumulate sand and beach nourishment. This has had some unforeseen negative effects, such as clogging of Belona Marina by sediment transported from beach nourishment areas. The relocation of this marina is now proposed to a nearby location where water circulation is greater.

Some potential conflicts have been identified, such as between fishing and navigation, and marine protected areas with economic uses. A Sketch Match exercise, involving stakeholder engagement, was carried out to explore options for integrating these and other uses. This allowed participants to draw maps of possible configurations of uses and develop management proposals. For instance, routes to fishing grounds could be clearly established, mussel farms could be relocated and accredited, the tourist diving potential of shipwrecks could be developed. Finally, an interaction matrix of human activities was drawn up, as a means of defining functional zones, including those for nature protection.

Application in MSP:
Type of Issue:
Type of practice:
Stage of MSP cycle:
Cross-border / trans-national aspect:
Coherence with other processes:
Key words:

Questions this practice may help answer:

  • Which maritime sectors a MSP related study should cover?
  • Which conflicts in the land-sea interaction could arise according to coastal erosion impact?
  • Which land / sea uses could be source of conflict, adding the ecological and economic problems identified and discussed under stakeholders meeting results?

Implementation Context:             

The Eforie Case Study was undertaken by the National Institute for Marine Research and Development “Grigore Antipa”, Constanta, Romania, as part of the EU co-funded project on cross border maritime spatial planning in the Black Sea, Romania and Bulgaria (DG MARE MARSPLAN - BS). It is aimed to follow the land-sea interactions with a special focus on coastal erosion within Eforie shore sector, thus identifying the impact of induced coastal erosion by environment, built environment and port infrastructure on maritime space activities, including navigation, tourism, fisheries, needing the management of coastal zone (ICZM). Suitable solutions for the harmonization of the tasks related environmental protection, mainly biodiversity conservation of all surrounding waters (fresh, brackish, hypersaline and marine waters) and the effective use of natural resources have been identified. The study is challenging to emphasize the influence of the erosion on coastal integrity, the interactions and impacts between activities, sectors and interests, both in the terrestrial and marine parts.

Aspects / Objectives:

The case study overviews and analyses the structure of the area, location, natural environment (nature values, water salinity, waves regime, climate, sea water nutrients and contaminants) and environmental conditions (natural living and non-living resources, natural habitats, special protected areas and wetlands, social features, urban development and population growth, existing economic activities (transport infrastructure; primary, secondary and tertiary sectors of economy fields, quaternary sector: welfare and education); housing density and kind, services; pressures (natural hazards, risks, vulnerabilities, coastal defence, ecological effects of coastal protection works); tourism development, fishing and aquaculture, military defence, etc.; potential interests and land-sea uses and interaction of Eforie, conflicts evaluation, key stakeholders involvement for problems identification and solutions, spatial analyse.

The Case Study Eforie North-South paid particular attention to:

  • Identify the main uses and their impacts on marine areas (ex. navigation, urban development and the tertiary sector of services as trade, tourism);
  • Natural risks identification (e.g. coastal erosion) and their implications on the natural, social and economic environment, (implications for tourism development, the impact on marine environment of the protection structures against erosion (for coastal stability) to avoid unpredicted consequences, measures for mitigation of the impact;
  • Identify new directions of development for some fields or activities (e.g. aquaculture);
  • Identify and involve local stakeholders and main players, interested in coastal and marine space of the study area;
  • Conflicts identification (e.g. Navigation and Natura 2000; fisheries activities and recreation areas or motor boats marina;
  • Recommendations and solutions elaboration for key issues and conflicts resolution between activities in the marine space, pressures from the coast, competition for space between different uses.


The approach applied for carrying out the case study follows and is compliant with Directive 2014/89/EU on maritime spatial planning, existing international guidelines, e.g. UNESCO Marine Spatial Planning: a step-by-step approach toward ecosystem-based management (2009), and is inspired by best practice results and reports from the following:

  • PlanCoast  (INTERREG IIIB NP CADSES Project, including NIMRD G. Antipa as partner) with the aim to develop the tools and capacities for an effective integrated planning in coastal zones and maritime areas of the Baltic, Adriatic and Black Sea regions) and the elaborated Handbook for Integrated Maritime Spatial Planning (elaborated under this project)
  • Study on Integrated Coastal Zone Management, elaborated by NIMRD for the Project “Improvement of the Integrated Coastal Zone Management in the Black Sea Region” of the Joint Operational Program “Black Sea Basin 2007-2013” - Project ICZM of Romanian Waters -Dobrogea Littoral Branch
  • "BaltSeaPlan – Planning the future 2012 of the Baltic Sea,
  • AdriPlan Project - Adriatic Ionian Maritime Spatial PLANing, 2013-2015,

The expected results:       

  • The geological, meteorological, hydrological, hydrochemical and ecological conditions of the area all inventoried and carefully described;
  • Similarly, the socio-economic characteristics, including population growth, transport infrastructure, economic activities, urban growth, services and tourism;
  • New tools for Maritime Spatial Planning (GIS analysis tools, spatial and conflicts analyses, stakeholders consultation);
  • Methodology enabling highlighting interactions;
  • New development opportunities identification;
  • Monitoring program and possible indicators establishment;
  • Ways and possibilities for recovery of produced damages;

Main Outputs / Results:

  • Risks and vulnerabilities emphasizing, mainly related to coastal erosion;
  • Key issues of area, environmental and socio-economic aspects;
  • Analyses on a key issue area, identifying current trends of economic and social development aiming to underline the progress of p[resent stages instead the old ones;
  • Main uses and activities thematically mapping for the study area;
  • Integrated maps of the study area;
  • Stakeholders meeting results and their involvement in MSP for ecological and economical aspects identification;
  • Ranking of problems according to the performed inventory;
  • SWOT analysis and matrix of conflicts;
  • Recommendations, proposals for conflict resolution.

Concluding, the Eforie North and South Study dedicated to a very rich area in natural values and complex activities, as traditional tourism location with international significance and attractiveness:   

Proves the existence of significant pressures from the coastal erosion and necessity for a good quality beach and cliffs management is quite imperative. Despite the new implementation of the coastal protection structures and beach sand nourishment, the nearshore areas remain under the risk of coastal erosion. The need for the coast maintenance is continuous, added to the initiatives to identify complementary ways and possibilities for coast consolidation.

The coastal erosion, emphasizing an unbalanced sediment situation in the area, adjacent to the Constanta Port and Danube-Black Sea Channel impact, has a strong negative effect on economic aspects, encompassing the effect on human activities and nature attractiveness; sometimes significant affected by the landscape damaging; also habitat losses during major hydrometeorological events. The influence of the coastal erosions on the socio-economic activities is reflected in associated interactions, conflicts and controls (base on stakeholder’s various activities developed in the area of study). The continuous implementation of the coastal protection actions is required by the actual stage of erosion phenomena extension, despite its environmental impacts; environmental friendly solutions are necessary to be taken in consideration for its mitigation. The new extensions of the beach surfaces (as action for the coastal protection) produced, (in instance), a small impact on local tourism industry and economy developments depending on tourists number/density, due to a delay in the recreational and service facilities areas. The new development opportunities could be related to the extension of the tourist season adding cultural, recreational and balneary activities and other facilities such as aquaculture, thermal aqua-parks, aquarium and marine science museum.


The realised approach, experience and database is significant for all cases of spatial analysis of coastal erosion and land-sea interaction, with possibility to be extended to other areas, mainly in the Black Sea Basin.

Responsible Entity:

National Institute for Marine Research and Development “G. Antipa”, Constanta, Romania

Costs / Funding Source:

European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, DG MARE, European Commission, Grant Agreement: EASME/EMFF/2014/ MSP LOT 1 /BLACK SEA/MARSPLAN-BS
MARSPLAN BS Project, National Authority of MSP, Romanian Ministry for Regional Development and Public Administration,

Contact person:

Dr. Eng. Laura Alexandrov

National Institute for Marine Research and Development “G. Antipa”, Constanta, Romania

Senior Scientist/Projects Manager

300 Mamaia Bld., Constanta, 900 581


TEL:  (40) 241 543288, (40) 241 540870, 

FAX:  (40) 241 831274,

E-mail: (laurenta[at]alpha[dot]rmri[dot]ro)