Spotlight on Land & Water’s role in marine innovation and sustainability

Land & Water CEO James Maclean held a presentation yesterday at the Working in the Wet conference for the Institution of Civil Engineers on the topic of marine innovation and sustainability.

“We have an internal target of becoming carbon net zero by 2030, in line with the objectives of the Environment Agency and other key client’s, and have a variety of sustainable solutions in place to achieve this,” said Mr. Maclean.

At the conference, he highlighted how Land & Water is reusing spoils and sediments for nature recovery, tapping into new funding streams that place new values on natural capital.

99.5% of coastal dredged materials are currently being disposed of offshore by dredging contractors and this needs to change.

Not only can this damage wildlife but it also has potential, detrimental impacts to the sea bed and sensitive sea-scape habitats.

The rise in sea levels, increased boat traffic, alongside higher intensity storm events, and the removal of sediments (by dredging) from local estuarial “cells” are all negatively affecting the sensitive coastal habitats.

Land & Water photo

“Land & Water is on a mission to restore the UK’s natural capital using salt marshes, as well as vacant and derelict land, to transform them into high value ecosystems,” said Mr. Maclean.

“Currently, we are delivering London’s biggest habitat restoration scheme at Rainham marshes using more than 6,000,000 tonnes of recycled spoils, from works including the Thames Tideway Tunnel project, to create 1,000,000m2 worth of valuable habitat.”

“This is something we are extremely proud of and will be operating until 2042. We are also pleased to announce that we are working with Chichester and Lymington Harbour Commissioners to conduct full scale trials next winter to recover over 10,000 metres sq of salt marshes.

“We will be doing this using a specialist piece of new equipment, developed to help us carefully transport dredged sediments from sea going vessels onto the depleted saltmarshes above Mean High Water.”