The project focuses on nationally important, exposed archaeological sites: the remains of prehistoric forests, Roman buildings, ancient salt-working sites, lost medieval ports, fishing settlements, coastal defences from both World Wars and countless abandoned boats, barges and ships. The CITiZAN project delivers community-based training to create an infrastructure and network of volunteers with the skills and systems to be able to record, monitor and celebrate the highly significant, but fragile and threatened archaeological sites.
Heritage Minister, Tracey Crouch, said: "As someone who grew up on the coast I believe this to be a hugely important project to record the fascinating history of our coastline. The 70,000 sites that are at risk tell the story of our shared national heritage, so it's vital they are surveyed before the sea takes them. No where in Britain is more than 70 miles from the coast, so I would urge anyone to take the opportunity to get involved."
The project has developed a standardised survey, monitoring and web-based recording system and delivers a national training programme to participants through three regional centres, in London with project lead MOLA (Museum of London Archaeology), in York with partner organisation the Council for British Archaeology and in Portsmouth with the Nautical Archaeology Society. A national network is being established to monitor, record, and interpret coastal and intertidal sites, and actively engage CITiZAN volunteers through the website and outreach programme.