On Thursday 14th March, Prof Ivan Haigh hosted a special hybrid seminar at the National Oceanography Centre and on TEAMS that focused around storm surge barriers, which protect tens of million people and trillions of pounds of property and infrastructure from coastal flooding around the world. 

The speaker at this session was Andy Batchelor, who is the manager of the Thames Barrier and associated gates, which protects more than 1.42 million people and £320 billion pounds of residential property in London. Storm surge barriers are often our first line of defence against the rising tides. These barriers exist and are being developed all around the world to reduce the risk of severe flooding to people, property and places.

Andy gave an introduction to storm surge barriers and why they are important, and talked about the challenges facing storm surge barriers in the future with climate change. He describe the I-STORM international knowledge sharing network for those working in the storm surge barrier industry, which he established in 2006 with Marc Walraven, who is the senior storm surge barrier advisor for the Dutch Government and oversees six storm surge barriers in the Netherlands.  Andy shared insights on existing storm surge barriers around the world and new ones that are being built and planned.

YouTube: recording of seminar Silent Protectors – storm surge barriers in coastal flood protection, Thursday 14th March 2024
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