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Protecting the coastline

BeachCare volunteer

Caring for our coastline is hugely important to us and forms part of our catchment management strategy. We are proud to have helped make sure so many of Britain’s best beaches and bathing waters are in our patch.

The coast is a hugely valuable part of our local economy. That’s why we’ve invested £350 million over the last 25 years in our coastal infrastructure and state-of-the-art bathing water monitoring systems so we know how they are operating, and can be sure they’re protecting bathing water quality.

We’ve also established BeachCare in Cleethorpes, Hunstanton, Great Yarmouth, East Mersea and Southend, a volunteer beach cleaning initiative which supports volunteers carry out litter picks. More BeachCare locations will be added over the coming years.

Everyone has their part to play when it comes to protecting our bathing waters as water quality can be impacted by many factors. That’s why we have a dedicated Coastal Water Protection Team whose job it is to work closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency and other local groups and businesses to identify where other sources of pollution are coming from. These could be:

  • People leaving litter and not cleaning up dog mess which can have a devastating impact on the coast.
  • Rogue plumbers and DIY enthusiasts who create misconnections by unintentionally plumbing foul sewers into the surface water drain can mean domestic waste is being flushed out to rivers and the sea unknowingly – it’s a more common problem than people realise. Find out more here about misconnections and to see whether you have a misconnected property and what you can do about.
  • Pesticides, chemicals and bacteria washed off of farmland, roads and pavements and into the sea when it rains. Even populations of roosting birds whose poop washes into the sea have an impact.
  • Boaters emptying the bilge tanks in the sea, rather than using facilities on land.
Individually these might not sound like they could have a big impact, but altogether they do. Today, these are cumulatively the biggest factors affecting the quality of our bathing waters.

In order to continue to play our part in safeguarding the bathing water quality in our region, we have employed a dedicated Coastal Water Protection Team

As bathing water quality can be impacted by many factors, the role of this team is to work closely with local authorities, the Environment Agency, local communities, businesses and beach users to identify where possible sources of pollution are coming from (examples could include; large bird populations, agricultural run off, boating, misconnections and dog fouling on the beach). Find out how you can play your part.

Case studies

Find out more about the work we're doing to keep beaches clean. 

Lincolnshire BeachCare
Clacton crabs
Misconnections
Aerial surveys
 

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