Oysters

A new resource launched this week aims to build a complete picture of action being taken along the South Coast to help combat the effects of climate change.

27 April 2023

3 minutes

A new resource launched this week aims to build a complete picture of action being taken along the South Coast to help combat the effects of climate change. 

The is a comprehensive portfolio of seascape restoration in the Solent to Sussex Bay region.  It includes projects dedicated to tackling biodiversity loss in coastal regions and mitigating the effects of climate change. 

For the first time, all these projects will be brought together in a searchable map.  Each entry is detailed with information which includes a description, location and who is leading the project.  These initiatives vary in size from small feasibility studies to large multi-million pound projects. 

Seascape restoration, the process of halting and reversing degradation of the marine and coastal environments, can provide numerous benefits to people and the environment.  It is a nature-based solution, and the inventory authors believe this new resource will help experts work in partnership to tackle biodiversity loss, boost carbon take up and enhance economic and community values in seagrass, saltmarsh, kelp and oyster habitats.

This inventory is an invaluable tool to guide and inform where the potential for collaboration is and also identify where the gaps are. 

Professor Steve Fletcher , 鶹AV

The resource is aimed at anyone working with or interested in seascape restoration.  It gives businesses and individuals an understanding of how their work fits into the wider context and encourages collaboration, sharing of best practices and knowledge exchange. 

The central south coast of England (Hampshire, Isle of Wight and Sussex coastlines) has more active and planned seascape restoration projects than anywhere else in the UK.  However, until now, there has been no publicly available inventory of planned, active and completed projects and research covering the whole Solent to Sussex Bay region.  

The Solent to Sussex Bay Seascape Restoration Inventory has been compiled in collaboration with the 鶹AV, the and the Sussex Marine and Coastal Forum.  It is the first stage of a bigger project – the Solent to Sussex Bay Seascape Restoration project, which will bring together marine scientists and business leaders to help improve the health of the UK coastline, forming the . To hear more about the network, attend in May.

This will help the responsible authorities join-up local nature recovery strategies with coastal and marine recovery.

Karen McHugh, Solent Forum

Professor Steve Fletcher from the 鶹AV is leading the research.  He said: “This inventory is an invaluable tool to guide and inform where the potential for collaboration is and also identify where the gaps are.  There is huge investment potential in seascape restoration and this resource will enable us to examine the practical opportunities to better integrate biodiversity and finance within seascape restoration activities in the region.”

Karen McHugh from the Solent Forum said: “This is an important database which helps identify the projects, programmes and ambitions for marine nature recovery in the region, and will help the responsible authorities join-up local nature recovery strategies with coastal and marine recovery, as well as marine net gain opportunities.  It will also help underpin Blue Marine’s Solent Seascapes Project.”

 Jackie Mellan from the Sussex Marine & Coastal Forum said: “We need to raise our ambition to reverse centuries of decline of estuarine and coastal habitats by restoring habitats such saltmarsh, seagrass meadows, oysters reefs and kelp forest. With the loss of these habitats comes the loss of the valuable benefits and services they would provide our society. By building a sound evidence base and having easily accessible tools such as this project inventory, it will help partners to identify opportunities to collaborate, share learning, and direct more funding and action to deliver improvements in the marine environment – this will help increase resilience and aid nature’s recovery”.  

The UK Seascape Restoration Research Network will periodically update the inventory to ensure it remains comprehensive. You can also submit new projects at any time using this . If you notice any errors in the inventory, please contact Samuel.Winton@port.ac.uk.

The research was funded by the Environment Agency's Championing Coastal Communities Fund. You can view the inventory .