‘Co-Opt’ Project funded to Develop Tools to Protect Coastal Communities
The National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in partnership with The University of Liverpool, Cranfield University and St Andrews University was awarded funding by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) as one of six new research projects that aim to build a sustainable future for the marine environment.
Led by Dr. Laurent Amoudry from NOC, the ‘Co-Opt’ project will develop new tools that will allow better decisions to be made to both protect coasts from changing climate and help deliver net zero ambitions.
Protecting the coast by maintaining hard 'grey' defenses against flooding and erosion such as traditional sea walls, as currently planned, is unlikely to be cost-effective.
The newly proposed sustainable coastal management and adaptation will therefore require a broader range of actions, and greater use of softer 'green' solutions that work with nature, this includes restoration of coastal habitats such as saltmarshes or vegetated dunes.
Dr Amoudry, Associate Head of Marine Physics and Ocean Climate at NOC, said: “NOC will quantify the positive and negative environmental impacts of different management approaches under future climate scenarios. We are excited to work with coastal managers in England, Wales and Scotland, as well as international partners, to establish new tools to quantify social and economic values of approaches that work with nature. Our results will allow better decisions to be made that both protect our coasts from the changing climate and also help deliver other key objectives, such as net zero.”
Coastal hazards will be increasing over the next century, primarily driven by sea level rise. In fact, coastal flooding was the second highest risk after pandemic flu on the UK government's risk register in 2017. Additionally, over 1.8 million homes are at risk of coastal flooding and erosion in England alone.