Next big step for Thorney Island’s flood defences

Earlier this year, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Environment Agency signed a memorandum of understanding, forming a partnership that will create an important large-scale habitat with the potential to reduce the impacts of climate change.

The land on Thorney Island, near Chichester, is owned by the MOD. However, new inter-tidal habitat is urgently needed to compensate for losses due to rising sea levels and new flood defences protecting thousands of homes in the area.

Nick Gray, the Environment Agency’s flood and coastal risk manager for West Sussex, said:

It’s great to see this ambitious project gathering momentum. With our project team now on site, we will be able to investigate and understand the ground conditions before any construction takes place.

By joining forces with the MOD, we can achieve more for the environment and reduce flood risk to the MOD’s infrastructure.

The project partnership approach is already leading to new and exciting opportunities, with both organisations working together to explore possible areas for tree planting to offset their carbon emissions.

The resulting saltmarsh and mudflats also have the potential to act as an effective ‘carbon sink’, an exciting first step towards supporting the government’s target of net-zero carbon by 2050.

Lt Col Alistair Hill said:

By working together we are delivering more, at pace and creating a relationship that will serve both organisations going forward

The milestone aligns with the long-term goal of a nation resilient to climate change as outlined in the Environment Agency’s 5-year plan for a greener, healthier future.

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