Posted: Sat 25th Mar 2017

New EU Project To Enhance Coastal Infrastructure In Wales And Ireland

This article is old - Published: Saturday, Mar 25th, 2017

Universities in Wales and Ireland are joining forces to investigate how coastal defences and renewable energy schemes can be improved by more eco-friendly designs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

More than €3m of EU funds is being invested in the Ecostructure project, which will develop and trial new methods to enhance the quality of coastal structures, including sea-walls and tidal lagoons, through more ecologically-sensitive design. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project has been funded through the Ireland-Wales co-operation programme, which is helping to strengthen economic links and collaboration between the two countries. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Welsh Government Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Cross-border projects between Wales and Ireland are important because they bring together expertise from both nations to meet shared challenges and opportunities from our Irish Sea border. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“Aberystwyth University and its partners will benefit from more €3m of EU funds to deliver this project. It’s another example of the advantages to Wales of continued access to EU co-operation programmes after the UK leaves the EU.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The investment in Ecostructure will help to modernise future coastal development, create new business opportunities for local companies and improve the protection of wildlife and local ecosystems. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project will be led by Aberystwyth University, in collaboration with University College Dublin, Bangor University, University College Cork and Swansea University. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Dr Joe Ironside, from Aberystwyth University’s Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences, said: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In response to increased storminess and rising sea levels, as well as the need for sustainable renewable energy generation, hard coastal infrastructure is likely to increase along Irish Sea coastlines. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“In Wales and Ireland, we currently rely on man-made sea defences to protect many of our most important cities, towns and transport links from floods and storms. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

“These artificial structures tend to provide poor habitats for wildlife, but the eco-engineering we’ll be trialling through this project has huge potential for improving coastal infrastructure and better protecting ecosystems and marine life.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​



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