The Promoting Adaptation to Changing Coasts (PACCo) project is an EU-funded initiative that focuses on piloting pre-emptive climate change adaptation in two estuaries: the Lower Otter Valley in East Devon, England, and the Saâne Valley in Normandy, France. The project encompasses a range of activities, including raising awareness about climate change, restoring lost intertidal habitats, relocating businesses to safer areas, and designing resilient infrastructure.
Estuarine regions face significant challenges due to climate change, including rising sea levels, increased flooding, and habitat loss. The PACCo project aimed to address these challenges by working with stakeholders to deliver benefits for both people and the environment.
The PACCo project implemented a variety of strategies, including:
- Raising awareness about climate change.
- Protecting and restoring lost intertidal habitats.
- Relocating businesses and amenities to areas with lower flood risk.
- Developing resilient infrastructure designs.
The PACCo project has had a significant impact on both estuaries. Through its various activities, the project has enhanced the resilience of these regions to climate change, protected and restored vital habitats, and ensured the safety and sustainability of local businesses and communities.
The project's key learnings include:
- The importance of early stakeholder engagement.
- The need to understand site history for future design.
- The benefits of a natural capital approach.
- The challenges of habitat and protected species constraints.
- The importance of continuous communication and community engagement.
- The challenges of working in flood plains and the need for vigilant monitoring.
The PACCo project serves as a model for other estuarine regions facing similar challenges. The lessons learned from this project can be applied to other areas to promote sustainable and resilient adaptation to climate change.
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