Sure thing for shoreline after £23m funding success
We have secured Defra (Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) funding of £23m for monitoring the English coast for the next five years.
The south east region, of which we are a part, is a partnership of all maritime Local Authorities from the Isle of Grain, Kent, to Portland Bill, and the Environment Agency. Around £8 million of the funding has been allocated to the south east programme.
Leading the bid, we work with the five other coastal regions in the country to monitor the changing shape of the coastline and the effects of coastal erosion; gathering the data from all regions so a complete picture can be built up to contribute to the understanding of the coastline and how it is changing.
Our portfolio holder, Cllr Sophie Beeton, said, "Congratulations to the team as this funding means we can maintain and extend the long-term coastal data sets, building on the ground-breaking work that has been done in the past 15 years.
"Our team has specialist expertise in coastal processes, coastal engineering, beach and cliff monitoring and surveying. Being fully equipped with the latest data allows us to provide and maintain the best coastal defences in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable way.
"The exciting thing about the data collected is that it is all open-source data, available to anyone. This freely-available information is now widely used by the local marine community, including surfers, sailors and divers."
The team survey beaches using traditional and novel techniques, such as mobile laser scanner mounted on an ATV (see pic). Region-wide high resolution aerial photography of the coast is also collected, and measurements of the seabed topography and sediment type using multibeam echo sounders on vessels. An important aspect of the coastal monitoring is to measure nearshore waves and tides; wave conditions are recorded by a series of Waverider buoys which transmit their measurements every half hour.