"The Stronger Shores – Marine Habitats Protecting Communities Project - 'Stronger Shores' for short - is one of the 25 pioneering projects funded by the Government's Flood and Coastal Resilience Innovation Programme. Innovation is central to this Programme, which seeks to develop and test ground-breaking interventions to improve resilience to flood and coastal erosion risk.
As part of innovative action on flooding and coastal change, Stronger Shores aims to improve understanding of the coastal protection value of kelp, seagrass and oyster reefs along the North East coast of England between Northumberland and North Yorkshire. Specifically, it aims to quantify how nature-based solutions, used to restore and/or create marine habitat, reduce erosion and flood risk.
By trialling cutting edge wave attenuation and sediment transport monitoring; evidencing and documenting all learning in a practitioner's toolkit, Stronger Shores will provide a route map to coastal resilience, for other risk management authorities to follow. Not only that, Stronger Shores seeks to better understand the wider role these habitats play in adapting to climate change and biodiversity management.
The project is currently in development phase, refining project plans to move into a 5-year delivery phase from September 2022. To ensure that local needs are taking into account and to help foster community ownership and long-term commitment, Stronger Shores will collaborate with stakeholders and local communities throughout the entire process.
The Stronger Shores project will pilot marine-based solutions for coastal protection along our coastline. That's a key word to remember - pilot. We are seeing what works and what doesn't and learning from the results so, our advice would be to be open to trying, to testing and refining as you go. Keep an open mind and if something doesn't work, that's ok. Learn from it and try another idea.
Our findings will help to provide a model for other authorities to use in their future risk management strategies, benefiting not only the region but the nation's approach to the climate crisis.