Sussex coastal water defences finally completed after 2 years

As the seas get ever rougher, protecting the areas around the coastline from water invasion becomes ever more important. The previous defensive wall at Medmerry in West Sussex was breached and it became necessary to plan and build a replacement.

Two years in the making, at a cost of £28 million, the largest sea defence project in England has finally been completed. Standing at 7 kilometres long, set back from the previous defensive wall, this new installation aims to protect the interior area from water intrusion.

A short distance inside the defences stand 350 properties, a treatment plant for water, and a couple of holiday parks that bring in a lot of tourists to the town. Just under 200 hectares of habitat near the coastline has also been included in the planning which provides for several protected species that live there and some wading birds that can be spotted on occasion.

The Environmental Agency was involved in the project. The agency pointed out that more than 16 percent of people in England could benefit from such water intrusion protection schemes like the one in Medmerry. Creating the habitat area protects endangered wild life and the project also cuts carbon, and increases local tourism too. The habitat area will be fully accessible to visitors later in the year.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds has responsibility for the habitat. The RSPB is said to be pleased with the completion of the project which offers protection for wild life and helps the local community in several different ways.

With the sea level rise, the risk is that salt-marsh and mudflats will continue to disappear. These are much needed for wild life to flourish. These kinds of projects help to provide a protected coastal area for migrating birds and a place for nature lovers to come to visit.