§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what research has been(a) carried out and (b) commissioned by his Department on the problems of coastal erosion, the causes, and costs of necessary repairs. 
§ Mr. Morley
I have been asked to reply.131W
The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food commissioned strategic research, amounting to some £1.7 million in 1997–98, relating to coastal defence problems. In particular, a three-year project looking into the processes associated with the erosion of soft cliffs has been completed recently and the final report will be published later this year. A five-year programme of major investigations into coastal morphology (including the development of understanding of coastal processes which contribute to coastal erosion, and the ability to model them) has also been completed recently.
In addition, a report on the Ministry-commissioned coast protection survey of England was published in 1994. The survey examined the extent, adequacy and state of repair of defences. Subsequent update reports have been commissioned, concentrating on those defences identified as being in the worst condition.