Mon, 25 Oct



Salt marshes, coastal management & arts-based research

Scott will introduce the concept of “blue carbon” and talk about the potential that salt marshes have for the capture of carbon as well as for further climate change mitigation. He will then talk about how arts-based research could make participatory processes in coastal management more inclusive.

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Salt marshes, coastal management & arts-based research

Time & Location

25 Oct 2021, 19:00 – 20:30

Cromer, Cromer, UK

About the Event

Marine ecosystems like seagrass meadows, salt marshes and mangroves absorb carbon dioxide from the water and atmosphere. The storage of carbon in marine habitats is called blue carbon.  • Globally, salt marshes and seagrass – blue carbon sinks – draw down and store between them 235-450 million tonnes of carbon a year; almost half the emissions from the entire global transport sector. • Scientists estimate that saltmarsh and seagrass habitats fix and store carbon at two to four times the rate of mature tropical forests. This means the UK’s salt marshes and seagrass beds have the carbon storage potential of between 1,000 and 2,000km2 of tropical forests. • The UK’s shelf seas cover some 500,000 km2 and are estimated to store 205 million tonnes of carbon in seabed sediments – approximately 50 million tonnes more than held within our entire stock of standing forests – along with coastal seagrass and saltmarsh habitats, UK marine ecosystems store about 220 million tonnes of carbon.

In my talk, I will introduce the concept of “blue carbon” and talk about the potential that salt marshes have for the capture of carbon as well as for further climate change mitigation. I will specifically touch on the marshes around Wells-next-the-Sea and Holkham which I did my research on. I will emphasise the need to include local communities in the process of coastal planning. I will then talk about the potential that ABR (arts-based research) has for making participatory processes more inclusive and how it might help inform policy and drive transformative change. For this, I will be drawing from my own experiences as a scientist and a musician.

Arts-based research encompasses a range of research approaches and strategies that utilise one or more of the arts in investigation. Such approaches have evolved from understandings that life and experiences of the world are multifaceted, and that art offers ways of knowing the world that involve sensory perceptions and emotion as well as intellectual responses. ABR can make research more inclusive by including ways to initially bypass the need for verbal expression, to explore problems in physically embodied as well as discursive ways, to capture and express ambiguities and complexities, to collaborate in the refining of ideas, to transform audience perceptions, and to create surprise and engage audiences emotionally as well as critically.. ABR is a relatively new approach to be considered in environmental and sustainability sciences. It’s more widely used in social sciences and psychology. My Background: I hold a BSc in Environmental and Sustainability Studies as well as an MSc in Marine Environmental Protection, with my thesis focussing on the carbon storage capacity of UK salt marshes and how it may be affected by future sea level rise. My research interest is in coastal ecosystems and coastal management, especially human-nature interactions and participatory methods in stakeholder engagement, as well as ABR (arts-based research). I am a former professional musician and am still actively making “Music for the Planet” with my band The Lürxx. I also hold a MA in Classics and am passionate about Latin and Ancient History as well as about nature conservation and science communication. 

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