T2.

41 - fact sheet

http://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...

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Calculating the costs and benefits of managed realignment
Sea level rise over the coming decades will threaten coastal areas with increased flooding. Protection of the coast will require increased investment in coastal defences, managed breaches of these defences to form wetland environments that act as buffer zones, or a combination of both. Wetlands formed by managed realignment trap nitrogen and phosphorus nutrients from fertiliser runoff and sewerage, preventing it reaching the open sea. These pollution control benefits need to be valued along with the added benefit of increased absorption of carbon that contributes to reducing climate change. Professor Tim Jickells, from the University of East Anglia's School of Environmental Sciences, and colleagues are developing a computer simulation of estuaries that describes water levels, erosion, nutrient flows and carbon uptake. They will use the model to determine the changes in land area at the Blackwater/Colne estuary in Essex, where some managed realignment has already taken place and more is planned. The researchers will use plausible scenarios of managed realignment, in discussion with coastal managers and taking socio-economic constraints into consideration, to quantify the economic value of areas of wetland that trap nitrogen and phosphorus. This will enable an analysis of the benefits of increasing the area of wetland to store nutrients and create habitats, as well as reducing investment in coastal defences, against the costs of lost agricultural land. The Blackwater/Colne estuary results will then be applied to other estuaries along the east coast of England. The results will provide advice on areas where the economic benefits of managed realignment are high. They will also influence UK and international policy on managing nutrient flows to the sea. In particular, the results will feed advice on meeting UK commitment to reducing inputs of nitrogen and phosphorus to the North Sea. The project will also contribute estimates of the amount of carbon able to be absorbed through such realignment and its value in light of future taxation.

A Tyndall project is calculating the value of carbon storage and reduced export of pollutants into the North Sea by wetlands created through managed realignment, such as this one at the Blackwater/Colne estuary. Credit: © M. Robinson More information Contact the lead investigator of Project T2.41 (Integrated modelling of an estuarine environment: an assessment of

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T2.41 - fact sheet

http://tyndall.e-collaboration.co.uk/publications/fact_sheets/untitled/t2_...

managed realignment in estuaries): Professor Tim Jickells School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK Phone: +44 (0) 1603 59 3117; Fax: +44 (0) 1603 50 7719 Email: t.jickells@uea.ac.uk Other researchers involved in this project are: Dr Dave Shepherd, Dr Julian Andrews, Dr Rachel Cave, Ms Laure Ledoux, Professor Kerry Turner and Professor Andrew Watkinson, School of Environmental Sciences, University of East Anglia Dr Steve Malcolm, Dr Ruth Parker and Dr John Aldridge, CEFAS Laboratory Dr Emma Young, Proudman Oceanographic Laboratory Professor Dave Nedwell, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Essex Project duration: September 2002 to June 2004 Useful web sites: The Tyndall Centre: www.tyndall.ac.uk UEA School of Environmental Sciences: www.uea.ac.uk/env OSPAR Convention for the Protection of the Marine Environment of the North-East Atlantic: www.ospar.org/eng/html/welcome.html EC Nitrates Directive to control nitrogen emissions from agriculture: europa.eu.int/comm/environment/water/water-nitrates/index_en.html European catchment changes and their impact on the coast: www.iia-cnr.unical.it/EUROCAT/project.htm Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (CEFAS): www.cefas.co.uk

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