The User functions represents one of the two “sub systems” identified in the previous sections (the other is called Infrastructure)
The following functions or user categories can be identified:
These functions use the natural resources of the coastal zone. They can be either renewable or non-renewable resources. Renewable means that the system can regenerate the resources within a reasonable time interval, e.g. the recovery of the fish population or the decay of organic waste. Non-renewable means that the generation of the resources by the system will not take place within a reasonable time period, such as the extraction of minerals from the seabed or the disturbance of the seabed by dredging or dumping of waste.
The resources in the coastal zone includes the compartments air, water and land. In these compartments four major categories of resources can be distinguished:
The problems in coastal zone management are generally directed on the resolution of conflicting claims on coastal and marine resources (common interests). Demands for resources are often directly related to the activities of the users, such as space for agricultural activities. But the (subsystem) Infrastructure will exert important claims on the resources as well, think of the enclosure of a coastal lagoon from the sea which may eliminate the nursery function of the lagoon for sea fish.