Centre for Aquatic Environments

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Landscape photograph of salt marsh wetland area

Saltmarsh Restoration Manual – available now!

Dr. Heidi Burgess a member of the Centre for Aquatic Environments is one of the contribution authors to Saltmarsh Restoration Handbook (UK & Ireland) which was launched on Friday 5th November 2021 at the at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Glasgow 2021.

Saltmarshes are an extremely important environment for the planet.  They are an important habitat for many flora and fauna, acting as a nursery ground for fish and a migratory location for many bird species.  These specialised inter-tidal habitats can store carbon at a faster rate than tropical rainforests and dissipate energy increasing coastal flood resilience.

Over the past 400 years a large proportion of the saltmarshes in the UK and around the world have been used as landfill sites and converted for agricultural use and development land.  As the awareness of the importance of saltmarsh and other valuable marine environments has grown, particularly, over the past decade, there has been an increase in the restoration of intertidal habitats.  However, because of the lack of experience in, and the number of discipline areas needed for, this kind of habitat restoration up until now there has been a no single point of guidance to refer to.

The UK Environment Agency have bought together some of the most experienced practitioners, engineers and scientists in order to produce the Saltmarsh Restoration Handbook (UK & Ireland).  Covering all stages from conception and legal issues through to public engagement, construction and monitoring, going forward this handbook will be the go-to reference guide for all of those involved in Saltmarsh restoration.

Dr. Heidi Burgess, a Chartered Civil Engineer and Principal Lecturer, from the University of Brighton (Centre for Aquatic Environments, Schools of Applied Sciences and Architecture, Technology and Engineering) has more than 20 years experience of working in nature based flood resilience projects.

With an array of research and industry experience into understanding the development of hydrodynamics, sediment dynamics and geomorphology of these systems and this impacts on the development of flora and fauna, Dr. Burgess was one of the contributing authors.

The Saltmarsh Manual will be part of a quartet of restoration guidelines, along with those developed for native oyster reef habitat, seagrass habitats and for the beneficial use of dredged sediments.  These guidelines will be launched on Friday 5th November at the Ministerial Ocean Event at the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), Glasgow 2021.

You can download a copy of the Saltmarsh Restoration Handbook from https://catchmentbasedapproach.org/learn/saltmarsh-restoration-handbook/



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Suzanne Armsden • November 9, 2021

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