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Ambitious project launched to save UK coastline

A team of academics has launched a new project to help tackle biodiversity loss and mitigate the effects of climate change, in a bid to help improve the health of the UK coastline.

The Solent to Sussex Bay Seascape Restoration project will employ a method called seascape restoration – a nature-based solution to tackle biodiversity loss, boost carbon take up, and enhance economic and community values in seagrass, saltmarsh, kelp, and oyster habitats.

The team aims to unite science and business communities on the South Coast of England, and then replicate the project across the rest of the country.

Professor Steve Fletcher from the University of Portsmouth, who is leading the research, said: “We propose to examine the practical opportunities to better integrate biodiversity and finance within seascape restoration activities.”

Researchers will work with the science and business communities to build understanding and confidence between the two groups, and identify the barriers that currently prevent them from working more closely together.

“The problem is that the scientific community doesn’t always understand the business community and vice versa – so there is a potential blockage. This project will find out what the barriers are and help both communities overcome them,” said Professor Fletcher.

The Solent to Sussex Bay Seascape Restoration is a twelve-month project funded by the National Environment Research Council. It follows the announcement in December of a £5m scheme to restore marine habitats in the area, involving the university and others.

Photo by Red Zeppelin