The Kelp forests which were prevalent along the Sussex coast disappeared in the 1980’s. As well as being an important habitat for the marine eco systems these forests have the potential to dampen some of the offshore wave energy, thereby helping to reduce coastal flooding and erosion. The Inshore Fisheries and Conservation Association (IFCA), are looking to see if it is possible to re-introduce Kelp forests to the Sussex coastline.
With her interest in nature-based approaches to coastal management, Dr Heidi Burgess took a work experience student along with her to help IFCA with a boat-based survey. At a number of sites along the south coast IFCA have video recorded the state of the sea-bed, surveying the physical condition of the seabed along with any visible flora and fauna. The Centre for Aquatic Environments have been helping out by profiling the water column at these survey points to provide a baseline understanding of the water parameters.