Report sets agenda for the sustainable future of Essex coastline

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Thurrock marshes
View across Thames estuary, Thurrock

Report recognises challenges in light of Brexit

The Wildlife Trusts published a new report last week setting a vision for the marine environment in light of Brexit and the Essex coastline is high on the agenda for protection.

The ‘Living Seas’ report says the first responsibility of the Government is to ensure they bring across existing European regulations which provide protective measures for seas and sea-life, safeguarding existing protective law, as promised in the Withdrawal Bill.

However, it identifies several challenges remaining nationwide, including, ensuring there are enough protected wild places at sea and along the coast; ensuring fish stocks continue to recover and tackling pollution in coastal areas.

Essex Wildlife Trust’s Living Seas Co-ordinator, Rachel Langley, said: “This new Living Seas strategy is an excellent opportunity to tackle the current threats facing Essex’s marine and coastal environment. Our seas have been put under great pressures and these need to be addressed as soon as possible to ensure a healthy and biologically productive future for our marine life.”

Marine

Essex has arguably the longest coastline of any county, covering around 350 miles and containing a range of habitats including mudflats and saltmarshes that provide a home for important species such as the native oyster, European seabass, little tern, Brent geese and harbour seal.

However, coastal habitats have been decreasing in size for a number of reasons, including erosion and coastal squeeze.

Essex Wildlife Trust’s Thurrock Thameside Nature Park, which provides a successful wintering ground for thousands of waders and wetland birds, is within a new proposed conservation zone.

Ms Langley added; “Through working with key stakeholders and organisations we are working towards tackling these challenges and reaching the goals of a biodiverse coast.”

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