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Silent guardians: the role of storm surge barriers in coastal flood protection

Event organised by Central Dredging Association

12 March 2024

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Flooding is the top environmental hazard in the UK's national risk register. Currently around one in six homes are at risk of flooding, a value that is likely to increase in the future. Storm surge barriers can protect against coastal flooding by temporarily closing movable gates to hold back storm surges and high tides.

There are four main storm surge barriers in the UK: Thames, Ipswich, Hull, and Boston, alongside many other smaller barriers. This network of defences reduces the risk for millions of people and helps protect billions of pounds worth of infrastructure. However, our changing climate is creating challenges for management, maintenance, and operation.

This presentation will introduce you to storm surge barriers, highlight the challenges they face due to climate change, and discuss research that is being undertaken to address the impact of climate change on the management, maintenance and operation of storm surge barriers.

Organised by

Central Dredging Association

Central Dredging Association

CEDA UK is the British section of an independent, international, professional association for dredging and marine construction.


Sunke Trace-Kleeberg

Sunke Trace-Kleeberg

University of Southampton

post-graduate researcher

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Sunke Trace-Kleeberg

Sunke Trace-Kleeberg is a post graduate researcher at the University of Southampton. She has a first-class masters in oceanography and is halfway through her PhD investigating the impacts of climate change on the management, maintenance and operation of storm surge barriers.

In this project Sunke works closely with the Environment Agency, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management, Rijkswaterstaat and I-STORM, the international knowledge sharing network for people working with storm surge barriers.

For more information please contact:

Shelly-Ann Russell

Sustainable Development Goals: