How to safeguard the future of the marine and coastal economy

coastal economy
© Ian Woolcock |

Six new research projects have received funding to investigate how to safeguard the future of the marine and coastal economy

The marine economy is worth £48 billion, yet many coastal communities are facing increased pressures from climate change, threats to marine wildlife and flooding.

To help policymakers sustainably manage the marine environment and economy, UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has funded researchers with a share of £9.2 million.

The six projects to receive funding include:

Recovery of seagrass for ocean wealth UK (ReSOW UK)

Led by Dr Claire Evans at the National Oceanography Centre, the project will investigate how and where meadows of seagrass can be restored in UK coastal waters, which is important in supporting marine wildlife, capturing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, and improving the productivity of fisheries

Sustainable development and resilience of UK coastal communities (ROCC)

Led by Dr Louisa Evans, University of Exeter. ROCC will reveal how the resilience of marine resource-users to environmental, regulatory and socio-cultural change can be strengthened, whilst also improving the wellbeing of coastal communities and the health of the marine environment.

Resilient coasts: Optimising co-benefit solutions (Co-Opt)

Led by Dr Laurent Amoudry, National Oceanography Centre. The overall aim of the Co-Opt project is to develop a new system-based framework that will support the transition from hard ‘grey’ defences to softer ‘green’ solutions in coastal and shoreline management.

Pyramids of life: Working with nature for a sustainable future

Led by Dr Jon Pitchford, University of York. The ‘Pyramids of Life’ sets out to enhance sustainability in fisheries management and the marketing of fishery products while conserving our diverse ecosystems.

Marine spatial planning addressing climate effects (MSPACE)

Led by Dr Ana de Moura Queiros, Plymouth Marine Laboratory. MSPACE will drive forward the capability of the four UK nations in designing and implementing climate-smart marine spatial plans (MSP).

Integrating diverse values into the sustainable management of marine resources in the UK

Led by Professor Stephen Fletcher, University of Portsmouth.

Environment Minister Rebecca Pow, said: “Coastal communities, marine habitats and wildlife across the UK are all facing increased pressure from the impacts of climate change.

“Whether looking at the role of seagrasses to capture carbon or identifying behaviour changes to create a sustainable future, this latest investment from UKRI will further develop our understanding of the role nature can play in tackling the biggest challenge of our generation.”

You can find more information about the projects here.


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