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UEA Research: Coastal management in Norfolk and Suffolk and the changing climate

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Norfolk/Suffolk Coastline

UEA Research: Coastal management in Norfolk and Suffolk and the changing climate

How will East Anglia’s coastline adapt in the future? I have heard this same question from many different people – coastal managers, residents and business owners.

The East Anglian coast faces overlapping, complex pressures. Rapid coastal erosion, future storm surges, and socio-economic insecurities will all influence the look of our coastline – the results of which can be observed year by year. Coastal authorities face limited resources and many competing demands, so how should they proceed?

Managing the coast

My research examines current initiatives along our coastline that consider coastal adaptation, which I see as a conscious change to coastal management practices, processes and structures to better cope with climate change and its long-term impacts.

Future impacts of climate change on our coast are difficult to fathom. Modelled projections inherently rely on vast amounts of information on the current geomorphology of our coastline and future variations in ocean dynamics, weather and climate. Combined with the inevitable socio-economic changes to our coastal communities and uncertainties linked to long-term government funding, many decisions to adapt are highly uncertain. In fact, many coastal authorities choose to ‘wait and see’, as a concerted approach to adapt to future coastal changes.

While adaptation in the UK is a national issue, it often takes place at the local level. Local government authorities play a central role in facilitating coastal adaptation although industry, NGOs and local residents are becoming more involved in planning, financing, and implementing adaptation.

How you can get involved?

I have been speaking with coastal managers, local councillors and local businesses in order to better understand today’s planning decisions in the context of long-term adaptation strategies. I am particularly interested in new collaborations between sectors that aim to improve long-term decision-making to adapt to our changing coastline.

I have already gained fascinating insights into coastal management in Norfolk and Suffolk and I would like to speak to an even wider range of people from local government, non-governmental organisations and businesses.

This research is vital to record and study how we are currently adapting along the East Anglian coast, current barriers to adapting and exciting new avenues.

If you would like to participate in a short online questionnaire regarding the project or hear more about this research, please get in touch:

Posted by on Mon, 30 Oct 2017

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