Celebrating excellence and innovation in flood risk management

This week the Environment Agency hosted The Flood and Coast Conference Excellence Awards

Some of the country’s most innovative flood defence projects have been recognised at a leading awards ceremony hosted by the Environment Agency.

The Flood and Coast Conference Excellence Awards ceremony took place at the annual Flood and Coast Conference held at Telford International Centre this week (June 6-8) – recognising the hard work and dedication to reducing flooding and coastal erosion internationally and here in the UK during 2022.

Environment Agency Chief Executive John Curtin, who presented one of the awards on the night, said:

“The Flood and Coast Conference Excellence Awards were a fantastic celebration of the very best projects and talent working on flood and coastal risk management.

“I’d like to thank all of those who worked so hard on these inspirational projects.”

Among the winners was the pioneering Rivercraft project, a partnership between the EA, Blockbuilders and Microsoft encouraging young people to learn about flood risk management, climate change, local human geography, engineering and the environment.

The winners:

  • The ‘A nation ready to respond and adapt to flooding and coastal change’ award recognises individuals and community groups who have worked in their communities to help them adapt and improve their resilience to flooding and coastal change.

Winner: Coastal Adaptation Explorer – a web-based tool developed by Jacobs for Hurunui District Council of New Zealand to explore their options for managing coastal hazards.

  • The ‘Climate Resilient Places’ award recognises Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management projects or programmes that improve place-based resilience to flooding and coastal change in a changing climate. 
    Winner: Climate Resilient Schools in London – an innovative project from the Department for Education and the Environment Agency targeting the schools in London that are most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.

  • The ‘Climate Resilient Infrastructure’ award recognises non-FCERM projects or programmes that have achieved excellent FCERM benefits alongside their primary aim.
    Winner: Promoting Adaptation to Changing Coasts – a £27 million EU Interreg funded, cross-border project that delivers climate adaptation projects in two estuaries: Lower Otter Valley in East Devon, England and Saane Valley in Normandy France.

  • The ‘Innovation Excellence’ award embodies the 2019 United Nations Global Commission on Adaptation statement, ‘we need bold ideas to inspire innovation beyond what people think is possible’.
    Winner: Rivercraft: the Minecraft games changing FCRM Engagement – a suite of games developed by the Environment Agency, Microsoft and Blockbuilders to engage 11 to 14 year olds on flood risk reduction, climate change and biodiversity.

  • The ‘Early Career Professional’ award recognises an individual who is early on in their career and has shown a significant contribution to Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management. 
    Winner: Franz Schweighart Gate – A British Army Reserve Officer, Franz provides water infrastructure support to the Ministry of Defence and volunteers for the charity Engineers for Overseas Development.

The judging panel included Caroline Douglass, Executive Director for Flood and Coastal Risk Management at the EA; Hannah Bartram, CEO for the Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning & Transport; Lyall Cairns, Executive Head of Coastal Partnership; Robert Gould, EA board member; Andy Bord, CEO of FloodRe; and Tracey Garrett, CEO of the National Flood Forum.

For full details on all the nominees visit: Flood and Coast Excellence Awards (clear-events.co.uk)

Environment Agency