David Levy – Coastal erosion and floods – we can succeed where King Canute failed – Dec 14

Nothing you can say, however great your empathy, can truly make you understand the depths of despair that one would feel as you watch, year on year, the relentless and inextricable destruction of coastline. And, as it gets ever closer to your home you want to know — Why is nothing being done?

Many would feel that this sense of dread is down to natural causes. Others would also feel the same when thinking about the other soul-destroying event, that of flooding. But like so many situations, it is far more complicated than it appears.

The activity of offshore dredging and its mining of the seabed for sand and gravel causes greater wave action which, in turn, increases the power of erosion along the coast. Is this dredging necessary? Are there other solutions to the sand and gravel problem?

Of course there are. However they are not selected by government, so they are not used. Thus the problems remain and, as the dredging continues, are exacerbated.

The solution is quarry waste which is fully capable of being refined to make sand and gravel up to building specifications.

Further, what preventative measures are taken to protect the coastline, and are the exploiters made to pay? Well, of course not. What an absurd idea!

Those people who have been flooded by extreme weather events realise that the events are now far more common. These events often happen where building has taken place on flood plains, with the concreting of large areas and tarmacing leaving the water with nowhere to go.

Farmers used to dig out ditches and take responsibility for their drainage, but local knowledge has been lost when these practices ceased. The Environment Agency has now taken over but recent cut backs have left the management in the hands of those who only see it in job terms, minus accountability.

So can we rely on others to secure our safety?

The answer is without doubt — No.

Time for people to take up the cudgels of change, and Marinet will be there to support them.


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