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.

The Challenge

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 Solution

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.

Key Learnings

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.

Further Developments

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.

Read More

Explore the case study in more detail (opens in a new window)

Go Back

Related Projects

Cardiff Greener Grangetown

The Greener Grangetown project in Cardiff utilized sustainable urban drainage systems (SuDS) to transform the urban environment...

Tweed Catchment Management Plan

The Tweed CMP covers the entire 5,000km2 cross-border Tweed catchment and includes the adjacent 120km2 Eye catchment to the north-east

Leaky Dams at Croft Castle

Implementing 27 leaky dams on the Ridgemoor Brook at Croft Castle has improved the water quality in the pools further downstream...

Alma Road Rain Gardens

The Alma Road Rain Gardens project in London is a compelling example of climate adaptation through implementing sustainable rain gardens to address...

London's Living Roofs Programme

The London Living Roofs programme was initiated by the Greater London Authority (GLA) to promote and support the widespread adoption of green roofs across the city.

Improving Energy Efficiency in Historic Cornish Buildings

Cornwall Council Historic Environment Service have produced a guide to maintaining, repairing and restoring historic buildings, while implementing...