Tourists are initially attracted to clean water and sand, recreation, and healthy local flora and fauna - 'getting away from it all'.
The coastal environment is initially in a healthy state of balance.
Natural beaches may take thousands of years to evolve.
The natural coastal environment has the ability to regenerate, or renew itself, naturally. It can deal with naturally occurring degeneration, and maintains a consistently healthy state.
This constantly changing but stable state is called 'dynamic equilibrium'.
In the diagram, the stock is Environmental Quality. Stocks are entities that can accumulate or be depleted. Other examples are a bank account and a bathtub.
In the diagram, the inflow is Regeneration Rate, and the outflow is Degeneration Rate. An inflow increases a stock, and an outflow decrease it. Flows are rates - amounts over time.
The stock level accumulates according to the net flow (inflow minus outflow) at each point in time.
Tourists bring with them many threats to environmental quality, such as litter, waste and pollution. These degrade the coastal environment.
To help restore the natural balance, we can introduce measures such as planning laws, planting trees, protecting sand dunes etc.
Initially the line representing Environmental Quality is straight, with value unchanging, because inflow and outflow rates are equal ('dynamic equilibrium').
Use the dials under the graph to change the rates and see the effect on the line
1 What happens if the Regeneration Rate is higher than the Degeneration Rate?
2 What happens if the Degeneration Rate is higher than the Regeneration Rate?Show answers »