an environment in which the coast usually is a significant part or element. The coastal environment will vary from place to place depending upon the extent to which it affects or is (directly) affected by coastal processes and the management issue concerned. It includes 3 distinct but interrelated parts: the coastal marine area; the active coastal zone; and the land backdrop. The coastal environment includes at least the coastal marine area, the water, plants, animals, and the atmosphere above it; and all tidal waters and foreshore whether above or below mean high water springs, dunes, beaches, areas of coastal vegetation and coastal associated fauna, areas subject to coastal erosion or flooding, salt marshes, sea cliffs and coastal wetlands, including estuaries. Read more about the coast.