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Crown Estate to fund new marine protection projects

The Crown Estate is investing over £12m in a new research project to help to protect the UK marine environment. 

The money will be invested in various collaborative projects that are part of the Offshore Wind Evidence and Change programme which is supporting the UK’s drive to reach net-zero by facilitating the sustainable and coordinated growth of offshore wind.

Led by Natural England, the Scottish Government, and the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the projects will explore a wide range of environmental issues, identify evidence gaps and inform how we can collectively implement positive change by improving understanding amongst key decision-makers of how offshore wind deployment could affect marine habitats and wildlife in combination with other activities.

So far, 25 projects have been awarded funding, with three completed and 13 underway.

brown rock formation on blue sea water during daytime

Dan Labbad, Chief Executive of The Crown Estate, said: ‘As we face the twin crises of biodiversity loss and climate change, protecting our natural world has never been more important.

‘As managers of the seabed around England, Wales and Northern Ireland, we play a vital role in helping to safeguard our precious marine environment whilst shaping, innovating, informing and enabling the development of offshore wind for the long-term benefit of the nation. This investment, delivered in partnership with expert stakeholders, is the latest example of our continuing drive to provide world class data and evidence to support both government and the industry in making the best decisions to unlock the pathway to net zero, in harmony with healthy, biodiverse seas.’

Environment Minister, Rebecca Pow, added: ‘These collaborative projects supported by The Crown Estate investment will provide vital information about the environmental impact of the offshore wind industry, helping to inform the industries development and our associated net zero commitment whilst at the same time protecting the precious marine habitat.

‘Working across government, with industry and the range of expert bodies in the UK, we are committed to achieving sustainable offshore wind development while ensuring we protect our vital populations of seabirds, marine mammals and fish and the habitats that support them around our coasts.’

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