On 22 June 2007, the former Minister for the Environment and Climate Change, Ian Pearson, announced the new arrangements for the Environment Agency's overview role on the future management of coastal erosion and sea flooding in England. The Minister's announcement included a statement on the proposed arrangements for the coastal strategic overview. The statement included the intention that coastal groups should become more strategic and play a stronger role in the future planning of flood and coastal erosion risk management.
As a result, with effect from October 2008, regional coastal groups have been set up, which are larger and more strategic than the previous coastal authority groups. They aim to have nationally consistent terms of reference and membership and whilst the groups include a significant Environment Agency input and local authority base, many now have representation from other organisations with interests in the coast.