Steart scheme nominated for environmental award

The UK’s largest coastal management scheme, carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency, has been named a finalist in the 2015 CIEEM awards.

The Steart Coastal Management Project is a finalist in the CIEEM Best Practice Award for Stakeholder Engagement. Earlier this month the same scheme won a prestigious Environment Agency Project Excellence Award.

CIEEM (Chartered Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management) is the leading professional membership body representing and supporting ecologists and environmental managers in the UK, Ireland and abroad. Its vision is of a society which values the natural environment and recognises the contribution of professional ecologists and environmental managers to its conservation.

Each year, CIEEM presents a series of awards to celebrate achievements of the profession and highlight the importance and practice of ecology. The awards are split into several categories which honour organisations and individuals working within the ecological/environmental sector.

The £21m Steart Coastal Management Project will help protect homes and businesses from flooding due to climate change and rising sea levels, and has established a new nature reserve.

The project is located next to the Severn Estuary on the Steart Peninsular, surrounded by internationally and nationally designated nature conservation areas forming part of the Severn Estuary Special Protection Area (SPA), Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).

A new channel was created to deliberately flood 300 hectares (740 acres) of land to provide much-needed habitat for wading birds and wildfowl, and for water voles and great crested newts.

The Environment Agency has national and international obligations to create intertidal habitat on the Severn Estuary to compensate for losses that are expected due to coastal squeeze, and the Steart Coastal Management Project will provide 40% of the required offset habitat for the area.

This is the latest in a string of accolades the Steart scheme has received. As well as the Project Excellence Award earlier this month, in 2013 in received received a ‘Gold’ Green Apple Award and won the Environment Agency’s Health, Safety and Environmental Exemplar Award.

A year earlier, in 2012, following a visit by an assessor from the Considerate Constructors Scheme, the Steart project was deemed an “exceptionally good site” having achieved a score of 37 out of a maximum of 40 points.

The CIEEM winners will be announced at the 2015 CIEEM Awards Ceremony on 25 June 2015 at the Birmingham Botanical Gardens. The full Steart nomination cites the Environment Agency with the Wildfowl and Wetlands Trust, Team Van Oord, EC Harris and CH2M HILL.

Team Van Oord is a Joint Venture partnership between Van Oord, Kier Group, Mackley Construction and Royal HaskoningDHV.

27 April 2015