A new project in Hesketh Out Marsh near Preston, UK, helps protect property and nearby infrastructure from flooding while creating an internationally important estuary for wildlife, CH2M said in their latest release.
The Hesketh Out Marsh East Managed Realignment Scheme, which opened late August 2017, reinstates 160-hectares of land to saltmarsh, and by doing so, provides important climate change adaptation to counter flood risk from sea level rise.
Salt marshes are coastal wetlands rich in marine life, protecting against coastal erosion and water quality problems, and which reduce flooding while acting as nurseries and refuges for many species.
“The primary goal of the realignment project was to protect existing property and nearby infrastructure against flooding, in addition to recreating salt marsh habitats,” said Greg McIntyre, president of CH2M’s State and Local Governments sector.
“We are pleased to have helped the Environment Agency and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds to improve coastal defenses and restore this marsh, providing space for natural habitats to flourish.”
CH2M provided modelling and detailed engineering design to create appropriate habitats for wildlife. The team used numerical modeling to predict the design’s behavior over time, evaluating the impacts and enabling the area to flood and drain correctly.
According to CH2M, the scheme, one of the largest of recent UK managed realignment projects, helps naturalize this internationally important estuary, while protecting more than 140 properties, farmland and infrastructure against flooding.