Coastal Seminar 2017 – Nigel Pontee (CH2M)

Nigel Pontee, Coastal planning and Engineering Leader at CH2M, Swindon, UK,  will give this semester’s evening Coastal Seminar, entitled:

Restoring the UK’s coastal wetlands, past, present and future

The talk will take place on Tuesday the 28th February 2017 at 6 pm, in the Lanchester building (07 / 3031 (L/R F2)), Highfield Campus, SO17 1BJ

Abstract of the talk:

Like many parts of the world the UK has experienced significant loss of its coastal wetlands. A significant proportion of these losses stem from man’s actions. Coastal reclamation, involving the enclosure of former intertidal areas with embankments and their conversion to terrestrial land, started in Roman times and has continued up to the present day.
Today coastal habitats front approximately half of all sea defences in the UK and play an important role in reducing coastal flooding and erosion risks by trapping sediment and dissipating wave and tidal energy. Habitats also provide other ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water quality, fish nurseries, grazing, and recreational opportunities. Restoring coastal habitats can therefore play an important role in the management of coastal areas.

This presentation will explain the risks to our remaining coastal habitats and the drivers for their protection and restoration. The presentation will focus on the most commonly used technique for coastal wetland restoration which is known as managed realignment. Examples will be drawn from the various schemes that have been undertaken around the UK over the last 26 years. These examples will be used to show the main elements of the schemes and the lessons that have been learned in their design. The gaps in scientific understanding and challenges that remain in the implementation of future schemes will be outlined.

Nigel Pontee

Nigel Pontee is a coastal geomorphologist with over 20 years of experience in coastal consultancy. He has particular experience in coastal habitat restoration, having appraised over 150 sites and having led the design of some of the largest schemes in the UK. Nigel has authored numerous papers, book chapters and international best practice guides on coastal management and wetland restoration. He is currently the Global Technology Leader for Coastal Planning and Engineering at CH2M and a Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Earth and Ocean Sciences, University of Southampton.