Three new environmental handbooks set out best practice for coastal restoration projects.

Three new environmental handbooks that set out guidance for the first time of how to carry out best practice estuarine and coastal habitat creation projects across the UK and Ireland have been published.

The handbooks provide practical guidance on restoring and creating estuarine and coastal habitats, bringing together advice on planning and implementing such schemes with case studies and lessons from previous examples.

They will be a tool to support local authorities, community partnerships and environmental organisations on restoring blue carbon habitats – habitats that can absorb carbon dioxide, help achieve net zero and tackle climate change.

The three detailed handbooks have been written by academics, industry specialists and environmental organisations that are experts in the field:

  • Saltmarsh, led by the Environment Agency
  • Seagrass, led by Zoological Society of London, University of Portsmouth and the Environment Agency
  • Restoration of Estuarine and Coastal Habitats with Dredged Sediment, led by Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, Environment Agency and marine consultancy and survey company ABPmer

Since the Industrial Revolution there has been significant loss of nature-rich, carbon-storing estuarine and coastal habitats around the UK and globally, which the handbooks aim to counter by encouraging restoration projects and laying down best practice guidelines.

The handbooks look at a range of existing projects as case studies, such as:

  • The restored saltmarshes in Cwm Ivy on The Gower Peninsula and Steart in Somerset restored saltmarshes
  • The Seagrass Ocean Rescue reseeded seagrass beds in Dale, Pembrokeshire
  • The Solent Beneficial Use of Dredged Sediment scheme

The creation of these habitats will provide flood defence, fisheries, water quality, biodiversity, social and wellbeing benefits, as well as mitigating against climate change. Click here to read more and also access the guidance on oysters

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