Suffolk Coastal: Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership discuss plans ahead including rivers’ defences
- Credit: Mike Page
A pioneering partnership which will see people take a greater role in the management of an estuary has looked to the year ahead.
The Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership meeting saw members and supporters come together to hear about the progress made during the project’s first 12 months.
The group, which is the first of its kind in Suffolk, is helping to manage the water network alongside the Environment Agency.
Sir Edward Greenwell, chair of the partnership said: “Although the Environment Agency will continue to have overall responsibility for flood defence, with government funding reduced, particularly in rural areas, it will be up to the local community to help fund areas that are unlikely to attract funding from central government.
“Members of the new Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership have an important and influential responsibility, making significant decisions about the future of the estuary.”
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The partnership has already carried out work including a review of the current rivers’ defences and began designing the upgrades which will be needed in the future.
Sir Edward added: “We have yet to turn a sod, but the progress we have made is extremely important in achieving the long-term future of the estuary and protecting and enhancing the valuable contribution that it makes to people who live in, work and visit the area.
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“The natural beauty of this estuary contributes, through local business and tourism approximately £30m to the local economy and this must be safeguarded.
“It is important that we all feel part of this enterprise. Without wide commitment from most people around the estuary we may yet fail to meet our aims and risk losing the Alde and Ore estuary as we know it.”
The partnership is also in the process of setting up a charity to help with funding the defences.
Sir Edward said he was “delighted” with the turnout at the meeting. He said the partnership was eager to hear from people, groups and businesses in the area about the project.
More information about the partnership can be found at www.suffolkcoastandheaths.org.