Deben Estuary Partnership (DEP) - Projects

Sutton Salt Marsh

Who is the Deben Estuary Partnership (DEP)?
The DEP is a grass-roots partnership, set up in 2008, to represent the different interest groups on the Deben estuary. The DEP steering group comprises of community members and is facilitated by the Suffolk Estuaries Officer (SEO), part of Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB unit. There are four working groups: access; land management; data and monitoring; and saltmarsh habitats. One of its main objectives is to find local solutions to coastal and estuary change ahead of the Environment Agency's (EA) Deben Estuary Flood Risk Management Strategy Review. The review will consider the long term management of flood defences and the potential need to recreate intertidal and freshwater habitats in the area.
The Saltmarsh Working Group (SWG)
The SWG was set up in response to local concerns at the first DEP forum regarding notable loss of saltmarsh on the Deben estuary. The estuary has over 40% of the remaining saltmarsh in Suffolk, and the community wanted to know why new areas of land were being sought for saltmarsh creation through managed realignment projects, when nothing was being done to protect the existing saltmarsh locally. The group wanted to explore how areas of eroding saltmarsh could be managed differently, as an adaptive measure. Landowners, in particular, began to recognise the importance of saltmarsh as a natural flood defence and an aid to reducing the frequency and cost of defence maintenance. The DEP, AONB and relevant statutory organisations formed the SWG to explore management approaches further, and to ensure a suitable balance of technical, local and practical expertise was included. Choosing sites and management approaches


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