Launch of project PACCo (Promoting Adaptation to Changing Coasts), a project to create a model for the sustainable management of coastlines and estuaries in France and England in a bid to adapt to climate change.
The project has a budget of €25.7m project, of which €17.8m is funded by the European Regional Development Fund via the Interreg France (Channel) England Programme.
Over the next 3 years PACCo will restore 100 hectares of coastal wetland in developed areas at two pilot sites – the Otter Estuary in Devon (UK) and Saane Valley in Normandy (France). The restoration of this land will enable better management of flooding, absorb carbon, and provide benefits for people and wildlife. Developed to enable a more natural and effective management of heavily modified estuaries, the PACCo model could be replicated at 70 other sites in the France (Channel) England (FCE) Area.
The Project is led by the Environment Agency and has three partners in northern France and three in the southern England. At the UK site, the restoration will include creating mudflats and a saltmarsh, moving a road to protect a disused landfill site from erosion, and relocating a cricket club. The French site will increase the connectivity between the river and its floodplain, move a campsite and build a new water treatment plant to prevent contamination and improve the water quality at two beaches.
Inappropriate use of estuarine and coastal areas over the last 300 years has been significant, including reclamation for agriculture or recreational activities, and climate change presents a significant threat to the FCE area, which is expected to be affected by a significant sea level rise in 2100, compared to 2000. There is increasing recognition that we must find ways of adapting to climate change if we are to manage our estuaries and coasts successfully in the future.
Re-creating saltmarsh will remove the equivalent of 170 Olympic swimming pools full of CO2, valued at €2.9m, each year. The Project will also increase green tourism to the two valleys, with an estimated value of €40m for the Saâne Valley and €12m for the Otter Valley by the end of the project. Significant public health benefits are also expected through increased access to the natural environment.
To find out more about the project see here.