Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) – Call for Expressions of Interest – Environment Agency


The Championing Coastal Coordination (3Cs) project is an Environment Agency initiative with support from Natural England, the Marine Management Organisation and the Association of Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Authorities. It is a collaboration seeking to explore how to enhance and progress coordination for coastal sustainability and resilience in England. This is in recognition of the major challenges that we face in our coastal and estuarine environments. The coast consists of many highly interconnected landscapes and seascapes, with a diverse mix of ownership and governance arrangements. The management of coastal issues poses a set of complex challenges unlike those inland. The number and diversity of public and private sector interests is often highest at the coast, with a proportionate increase in the complexity of planning and management in this highly contested space.

Coastal communities are on the frontline of climate change, facing increased risks from the impact of coastal change through storms and sea-level rise, with serious challenges of future land and sea management priorities to be faced. Coastal zones often attract intensive investment in development, such as housing, ports, recreational and transport infrastructure. Economic competition for space between diverse and legitimate interests places multiple stressors on coastal and estuarine environments and can result in coastal squeeze and habitat loss. If these pressures are not well balanced, public access and enjoyment can be compromised and ecosystem health can deteriorate. Existing estuarine and coastal habitats provide important benefits. Restored, recovered and resilient coastal habitats provide functioning, nature-based solutions for mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change as well as a wide range of other ecosystem service benefits such as carbon sequestration, flood mitigation and biodiversity improvement. 


The 3Cs project is running a competitive selection process for funding and is inviting submissions via expressions of interest (EOIs). The 3Cs project will allocate a fund of £750,000 in total to test and trial the following three themes:

  1. Coordinating planning and delivery of locally owned plans and place-based initiatives through governance frameworks to: better connect decision-makers in places; facilitate collaborative restoration planning and delivery; incorporate data from all different sectors of the community; strengthen policies and provide a direct link from national governance to local communities.
  2. Coastal champions to strengthen capacity and capability in local stewardship: incorporating environmental, social and economic processes that span land and sea; including all willing to be involved in goal setting, planning and delivery; creating a network of action with regular feedback on impact; engaging at a range of levels to exchange knowledge, share and acknowledge what is valuable, understand multiple perspectives and gain a high degree of support for local delivery; strengthening engagement, facilitation and outreach incorporating environmental data into decisions at a local business level.
  1. Restoration and recovery of natural habitats: increase estuarine and coastal natural capital by providing more space at the coast for coastal processes and practical restoration to allow estuarine and coastal habitats to respond to sea level rise and climate related storms, reduce conflict between human land use and coastal change, reduce impacts of biodiversity loss, encourage nature recovery, improve water quality and provide opportunities for ‘blue carbon’ and recreational access. Explore innovative ways to restore degraded estuarine and coastal habitat.The overall ambition is to strengthen and support a national framework covering the entire English coast. The aim is to better coordinate local improvements to coastal environments through a collaborative approach of organisations from the public sector, private sector and civil society sectors.

Successful proposals will need to show how they contribute to collaborative advantage by working across sectors. In particular, proposals will need to demonstrate how they will include representatives from public, private and civil society sectors. For example, to co-develop ideas and improve strategic alignment of local planning and implementation activities, proposals will need to confirm involvement of representatives from organisations such as Local Authorities, Lead Local Flood Authorities, the Coastal Group Network, local businesses and non-government organisations.

The 3Cs project team will decide how much of the £750,000 funding to allocate when they assess the EOIs. Funding will vary depending on how many of themes are addressed in each proposal and the range of locations covered in each proposal. For example, if there is an allocation by location and there are 60 locations, each may get funded £12,500. If there is an allocation by the three themes a threshold of £250,000 could be set on a national basis across England.

Funding eligibility

The Environment Agency has been given powers under the Charities Act 2006 to provide the 3Cs funding. To be eligible to receive 3Cs funding, the applicant will:

  1. Be a charitable, benevolent or philanthropic institution for the benefit of the whole or any part of England, as defined by the Charities Act 2006;
  2. On request, provide evidence of charitable status;
  3. Participate in monitoring and evaluation activities.

Timeline milestones

  1. Launch call for proposals 1 September 2021
  2. Deadline for proposal submissions 30 September 2021
  3. Confirm successful proposals Mid October 2021
  4. Commence project October 2021 – March 2022
  5. Evaluation and reporting April 2022 – May 2022

How to apply

Please send completed EOI forms in Annex 1 and 2 by 30 September

If you need more information please send an email to

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