The Deben Estuary Partnership

The Deben Estuary Partnership (DEP) was formed in 2008 with the support of the Environment Agency to bring together local interests on flood risk management and of other estuarine matters. 

Purpose: ‘to promote for the benefit of the public the conservation, protection and improvement of all aspects of the river Deben Estuary in Suffolk with particular emphasis on the physical and natural environment and the provision of sea and river flood defence’.

Partnership: we were created and continue to be a management partnership of all interested parties, especially local communities, working together so that future generations may continue to benefit.

Planning: we developed and are currently updating the Deben Estuary Plan, an integrated management plan that reflects the concerns and aspirations of our diverse members

The DEP includes representatives from: institutional stakeholders such as Suffolk and Essex Coast and Heaths National Landscape, the Environment Agency, and Natural England; membership organisations such as National Trust and Suffolk Wildlife Trust; special interest groups such as yacht clubs and wildlife organisations; and local residents, businesses and landowners. A vital founding partner was the River Deben Association, a river catchment and estuary user group actively supporting the environmental protection and enhancement of the River Deben through education, information and communication.

The first estuary plan was published by the DEP in April 2015. With the issue of flood risk management at its core, this plan widened its remit to provide an integrated approach to the management of the broader estuary, valley and immediate coastal zone.  The 2015 Estuary Plan was approved by the Environment Agency and accepted as Planning Guidance by the planning department of Suffolk Coastal District Council (now East Suffolk Council).

We are now in the process of developing a revised and updated Deben Estuary Plan, which will build on the previous work but with a specific focus on ‘Change – climate, community and culture’.

Geographic Scope of the DEP

Geographic Scope of the Estuary Plan

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