The Environment Agency is set to begin the renewal of flood defence revetment this financial year, 2022/23, bringing huge improvements to the seafront and shoreline.

This £35 million project will renew Canvey Island’s existing flood defences along the 3-kilometre stretch of the Island’s southern seafront.

Canvey Island is a town, civil parish and reclaimed island in the Thames estuary, near Southend-on-Sea, in the Castle Point district, in the county of Essex.

This will ensure the Island is better protected against coastal erosion for a further 50 years, far more able to deal with the effects of climate change and rising sea levels.

The work will also include improved public access along the main walkway by widening it at the narrowest areas, providing passing areas at the bottom of steps and ramps.

New steps, information boards, markers and resurfacing of the pathway between Thorney Bay and Chapman Sands will also take place as part of the project.

This project is being funded as part of the Government’s £5.2 Billion Flood and Coastal and Erosion Investment Plan.

This Investment Plan sets out how 2,000 new schemes will be funded to protect 336,000 properties by 2027, to avoid £32 billion in economic damage and reduce the overall national flooding risk by up to 11%. This follows on from the Environment Agency’s successful rollout of the Government’s previous £2.6 billion Investment Plan from 2015-2021.

The work forms part of the Thames Estuary Asset Management 2100 Programme. This is a 10-year project to improve existing flood defences and is the single largest flood risk programme in the UK, repairing and replacing the most at-risk assets.

The ground level of Canvey Island is often below the daily high-water mark in the estuary, so the defences play a huge role every single day to manage the flooding risk to people, businesses and infrastructure on the Island.

Sections of the current structure date back to the 1930s and therefore are in need of replacement, extending the high level of protection they are able to provide well into the future. The existing defences are however regularly inspected and maintained by the Environment Agency.

The renewal will take place between Thorney Bay and Canvey Island Yacht Club (see map).

The construction is anticipated to take 2.5 years to complete. This is because the work has to be completed during the low-tide window, typically lasting 5 hours a day.

The work will be completed in phases to minimise disruption to the community and the tourism industry on the Island.