Thames Estuary 2100: Shaping the future of the Thames Estuary

Closed 20 Nov 2022

Opened 26 Sep 2022

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.

Overview

The Thames Estuary is an international hub of cultural, commercial and economic activity. It contains some of the country’s most valuable assets, critical infrastructure and transport networks within its reaches, as well as internationally protected habitats.

The vast and complex network of 330km of tidal flood defences, barriers and other structures continues to protect 1.42 million people and over £321 billion worth of homes from flooding from the sea. As climate change accelerates, sea level rises and the frequency of storm surges increases, these defences are having to work harder to reduce the risk of flooding to us, our homes, and vitally important habitat and wildlife in the estuary.

Image credit: National Police Air Service

Sea level in the Thames Estuary has risen over the last century, and the rate of sea level rise is accelerating. Taking measures to alleviate this is no longer enough on its own; we must adapt to ensure the estuary remains resilient, today and into the future. No single organisation can manage this risk alone. In 2012, the Environment Agency and our partners published the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan. The Plan is a long-term adaptive strategy for how flood risk management authorities (e.g., the Environment Agency, local councils and utility companies) can manage the increasing risk of tidal flooding due to climate change.

The Plan is adaptive as we regularly review and update it using the latest scientific evidence and data, allowing the best decisions to be made at the right time. We are carrying out the first full review and update of the Plan since it was published; the 10-Year Review. We plan to publish an updated Thames Estuary 2100 Plan in 2023. 

We are now consulting with the public, our partners, businesses and service providers across the estuary on proposed content for the updated Thames Estuary 2100 Plan. This includes a new structure, proposed background content and most importantly, what we collectively want the updated Plan to achieve for you, the environment, and your riverside. 

We are calling on communities, organisations and our partners to play their part in updating the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan by giving us your views.

Strategic Environmental Assessment

We have reviewed whether an update is required to the original Thames Estuary 2100 Plan’s Strategic Environmental Assessment, which is a report proposing how the strategy’s aims ensure more sustainable decisions and outcomes. A screening determination report has been prepared, which determines that proposed changes to the updated Plan are not anticipated to result in new or additional significant effects on the environment. We will be consulting with the statutory bodies for England on this screening determination during the public consultation period. 

Why your views matter

With a rapidly changing climate, the need to plan together to improve the overall resilience of our local places is more important than ever before. The more we can plan together to deliver in partnership, the more we can deliver for local people, places and our environment. 

Since the Thames Estuary 2100 Plan was published over 10 years ago, we have come a long way in improving our understanding of the evidence and data we review to gauge how and why the estuary is changing. We have also set new targets like reaching carbon net zero by 2030, have reviewed how to bring sustainability to the forefront of Plan, improved our understanding of the costs and benefits of the options in the Plan, and much more.  

We recently worked with our partners to develop updated ‘outcomes’ based on this updated evidence. The outcomes set out what needs to be achieved in the estuary and by who, in order to manage flood risk and improve the riversides for people and wildlife. This is your opportunity to review these outcomes for the updated Plan, and tell us whether you support them, or whether you think they need to be amended. Some outcomes are for the whole estuary, whereas others are specific to certain areas. We want to know what you think the Plan needs to achieve, and how far it should aim to go to improve the estuary’s resilience to climate change impacts. 

We encourage you to submit your response to the questionnaire online, which will enable us to manage your comments more effectively. It will also help us to gather and summarise responses quickly, accurately and cost effectively. 

If you respond online and provide an email address, your response will be automatically acknowledged, and you will receive a receipt. 

You can also fill out the consultation at the drop-in events we are holding across the estuary. If you require a paper copy, please contact us at thamesestuary2100@environment-agency.gov.uk.

The consultation will close at 11:59pm on 20 November 2022. 

What happens next

Thank you for your responses to the 'Thames Estuary 2100: Shaping the future of the Thames Estuary' consultation.

We will review the consultation responses with our partners and will publish a summary of the responses received as part of this online consultation.

We will publish the final updated Thames Estuary 2100 Plan in 2023.

Events

  • Drop-in event: Canvey Island Football Club

    From 22 Sep 2022 at 17:00 to 22 Sep 2022 at 19:30

    We are holding a drop-in event on Thames Estuary 2100 and the Canvey Island southern shoreline revetment project. Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more about the projects, meet the teams and ask questions.

  • Drop-in event: Temple Hill Community Centre, Dartford

    From 28 Sep 2022 at 16:30 to 28 Sep 2022 at 20:00

    We are holding a drop-in event on Thames Estuary 2100. Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more, meet the team and ask questions.

  • Drop-in event: The Forum Centre, Greenwich

    From 5 Oct 2022 at 15:00 to 5 Oct 2022 at 18:00

    https://www.forumatgreenwich.org/

    We are holding a drop-in event on Thames Estuary 2100. Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more, meet the team and ask questions.

  • Drop-in event: Thameside Theatre, Grays

    From 11 Oct 2022 at 16:30 to 11 Oct 2022 at 20:00

    https://www.thurrock.gov.uk/thameside-theatre/where-to-find-us

    We are holding a drop-in event on Thames Estuary 2100. Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more, meet the team and ask questions.

  • Drop-in event: Portsoken Community Centre

    From 25 Oct 2022 at 16:30 to 25 Oct 2022 at 20:00

    https://www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/services/community-and-safety/portsoken-community-centre

    We are holding a drop-in event on Thames Estuary 2100. Everyone is welcome to come along and find out more, meet the team and ask questions.

Audiences

  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Fishing clubs and representative associations
  • Members of the public with an interest in the river, the species and conservation
  • Businesses
  • Charities
  • Statutory organisations
  • NGOs
  • Members of the public
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Local councils
  • Academics
  • All water abstractors
  • Environment Agency customers
  • Net fishing license holders
  • River based salmon angling owners/fishing clubs/organisations
  • Individual migratory salmonid licence holders
  • Business that buy salmon/supported by salmon net and rod fishing
  • Angling trade contacts
  • National based fishery, conservation and landowner organisations
  • Government family organisations
  • IDBs
  • Local authorities
  • District and parish councils
  • Environmental bodies
  • Land owners
  • Drainage associations
  • RFCCs
  • Elected representatives, including MPs
  • Water companies
  • Members of the public
  • Recreational and commercial river users
  • Community groups
  • Flood action groups
  • Trade associations and business
  • Other regulators
  • Members of the public
  • Community groups
  • Non-governmental organisations with an interest in environmental issues
  • Environment Agency colleagues
  • Lead Local Flood Authorities
  • Local Risk Management Authorities
  • Flood Resilience Forums
  • Members of the public
  • Town and parish councils
  • Regional Flood and Coastal Committees
  • Internal Drainage Boards

Interests

  • Business and industry
  • Flood management
  • Habitats and wildlife