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Convened by:

18-20 June 2019

Telford International Centre, UK

Beth Riley

Beth Riley

Beth Riley

Chartered Coastal Scientist, Mott MacDonald Speaking On: Day 2 (21st March) Session: Coastal planning & delivery
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Innovative planning:habitat adaptation policies in strategies

Within the UK coastal management sector, achieving a balance between protecting freshwater and intertidal designated habitat over the long term is becoming a key issue. The Medway Estuary and Swale Strategy (MEASS) is currently being developed in the Medway and Swale estuaries, Kent. As part of the MEASS, the policies being developed have had to account for the impacts on the SPA designated intertidal and freshwater habitat. To help mitigate against the impacts many compensatory sites have been developed, but this potentially results in an adverse impact on the other type of designated habitat. Therefore, through collaboration with Natural England, the MEASS project team have proposed an innovative habitat adaptation policy. The habitat adaptation option aims to allow the gradual roll-back of intertidal habitat, over SPA freshwater designated habitat, reducing the adverse impacts on the freshwater habitat usually associated with a MR breach.This presentation will aim to discuss the challenges the team faced to ensure the impacts on SPA habitat were reduced; look at this within the wider national context; and how by proposing the implementation of the habitat adaptation approach a more sustainable option has been proposed in line with Natural England's Healthy Estuaries guidance.

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