One of the major missions for Ed the Bear was to find out how climate change might affect his special beach and the rare plants at Shoreham. Warming seas causing thermal expansion and melting polar ice both lead to sea level rises. At high tide, this means there is a higher volume of sea water in the harbour and river estuary. With increased rainfall flowing down to the sea, this adds even more water increasing the river height which can then flood the surrounding area.
As mentioned in earlier posts, in September 2016 construction of an extensive river flood defence started on the river Adur called the Shoreham Adur Tidal Walls Scheme. This was in response to this increase in flood events at Shoreham and the surrounding area including a flood caused by a tidal surge and heavy rain in 2013. This was completed in March 2018 and will help protect at least 2,300 properties.
Flooding from the river is a major worry, this scheme cost £45 million, so this shows how important the flood protection scheme is.
The pebble beach at Shoreham may still be in danger. Climate change is warming the ocean which may cause more powerful storms and in the future this may threaten the pebble beach home to the rare plants.
So Ed the Bear's work continues. Ed is now sharing what he has learned during his travels, the amazing people and wildlife he has seen and also a warning of the conservation threats he has witnessed first hand.