WWT

Bridging the conservation gap between freshwater, saltwater
& transitional wetlands

This conference raised awareness of the lack of join up between freshwater, transitional and marine policy and conservation and discussed problems and solutions. Using the latest research, results and experience from larger scale landscape projects and explore opportunities for wetland creation and restoration and frameworks and funding mechanisms to facilitate this.

Summaries of all presentations can be found in the conference report which can be downloaded here, along with a short summary document and report detailing the outcomes of the communications workshop.

Wetland Futures 2015 Summary (PDF)

Wetland Futures 2015 Report (PDF)

Carlos Abraham sketches (PDF)

  • This two day event offered a platform for progressive insights into what both drives and constrains the development and management of healthy wetlands for a range of audiences from wetland managers and conservationists to industry and public sector. It provided a forum for bringing people together, forging new relationships and developing new ideas.
  • Climate change raises sea levels, pushes salt water inland and changes the nature of freshwater habitats. At the same time, land management, farming practices and erratic weather increases pollution in our waterways, which eventually ends up in marine habitats. Action on saltwater and freshwater habitats is completely separate, despite this dynamic interaction between the two.

A joined up, whole catchment, source-to-sea approach to decision making could save money and protect our natural heritage, Benefits should include improvements and savings for water supply, farmland, fisheries, wildlife habitats, recreation and other ecosystem services.

The aims for the conference were

  • To raise awareness of the lack of join up between freshwater, transitional and marine policy and conservation and discuss the problem and solutions.
  • To consider why there are gaps in the current policy and management framework and discuss how these can be bridged.
  • To consider the latest research, results and experience from larger scale landscape projects and explore opportunities for wetland creation and restoration and frameworks and funding mechanisms to facilitate this
  • To develop the case for a “source to sea” approach to policy and management and a strategy for engaging the right people to achieve a holistic framework.

The conference focused on three particular issues we feel are connected across fresh water, transitional and salt water wetlands that tend to be dealt with separately between these silos. These are nutrient pollution, flood management and coastal squeeze and invasive non-native species.  In addition we facilitated discussions around how to better communicate and engage between silos to enable more informed decision making to benefit conservation. Finally there are multiple stressors acting on our environment and across these silos. These are also often dealt with in isolation and we discussed how working strategically across these silos can assist in managing multiple stressors.

 


Hosted by WWT in association with BESS, Cranfield University, The Environment Agency, The National Trust, Natural England, RSPB and the Salmon and Trout Association.

Kindly sponsored by the National Trust