The Project


Global environmental change is exacerbating the loss of coastal biodiversity at an accelerating rate and is most evident in urban areas due to development and associated habitat loss

The predicted effects of climate change will be increased coastal flooding and erosion, prompting the need for building and upgrading of coastal defences to protect property and infrastructure such as railway lines, roads and new port installations

Project aims:

The proposed project aims to better understand the ecology of artificial urban coastal habitats so as to promote biodiversity and minimise impacts and is divided up into 8 modules:


  1. Characterise biodiversity of artificial structures and relate to key design features and physical setting
  2. Assess the impact of coastal defences on benthic infauna
  3. Design a "BIOBLOCK" for incorporation into defence structures which will increase habitat availability & biodiversity
  4. Survey artificial basins, water quality management and biodiversity enhancement: bring together the information to inform environmentally sensitive design of structures;
  5. Synthesize and model project data: assess the biodiversity associated with disused docks and canals and their effectiveness as 'lagoonoids' analogous to EU priority brackish lagoons;
  6. Undertake demonstration projects, real and virtual, to promote incorporation of BIOBLOCS into the design of structures;
  7. Long-term monitoring of biodiversity of demonstration sites;
  8. Liaise with stakeholders and end-users: disseminate the information to stakeholders and end-users, including the general public.

Study sites

  1. Tywyn
  2. Borth
  3. The Wirral
  4. Aberaeron
  5. Isle of Man Airport runway extension
  6. Elmer
  7. Plymouth
  8. Liverpool Docks