Tollesbury marshes at high tide


The Marine Environment group works with a range of local stakeholders including conservation groups and water/marine authorities to understand the threats facing our coastline, and find ways to mitigate their impact through better coastal protection.

The group is also monitoring projects that are restoring saltmarshes and seagrass beds to gauge how we can get involved and keep our community informed. Another area of interest is monitoring local water quality and ensuring the authorities keep our water safe and clean.

Current Projects

Sea defences

The sea wall around the coastline, especially close to the Tollesbury marine area, is under constant threat from storms and sea level rise. The marine group has identified weaknesses in sections of the wall and is working with the Environment Agency and County Council to address this issue. Due to lack of funding this is currently a low priority for the agencies but the Marine group is still hoping to find solutions.

Sea water quality

Since August 2023 the group has been working on a seawater testing project in collaboration with the University of Essex in Colchester. TCP volunteers have been collecting water samples from a number of strategic sampling points and the University has been testing samples for microbial pollutants (Ecoli and Eterococci). The results have so far identified concerns regarding pollution levels at the sewage plant outlet and the group will be raising the matter with Anglian Water and Essex and District Councils. The group hopes to extend the range of tests to include other types of pollutants. The results of the tests will also be used to inform and educate the local boating and swimming communities.

Geese flying over Tollesbury marshes

Channel navigation

In conjunction with the village Marine Stakeholder Group, work is being undertaken to identify parts of the creek which are becoming increasingly difficult to navigate due to silting. It hopes to carry out some pilot dredging trials using “water injection” equipment during 2024. The group also hopes to improve the management of navigation buoys in the creeks.

Smart moorings

Smart moorings have been developed to help protect the seabed from damage and the group is working with Natural England to deploy such a mooring as a trial and demonstration project.

Sea grass

Sea grass is an excellent carbon sink but many of the historic sea grass beds have disappeared over time. The group is working with Natural England to see what part it can play in identifying historic seagrass locations and participating in restoration projects such as REMEDIES and Project Seagrass.

Crest Award students exploring Tollesbury marshes


Future Projects

The group is keen to become more involved in the protecting the marine environment, especially the saltmarsh and local wildlife, and in educating the local community. However, more volunteers are needed in order to carry out more work in these areas.

Child nurturing Tollesbury crab

If you’d like to help with any of these projects please get in touch.



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  • Ian Marwood