Alde & Ore Estuary Partnership (AOEP)
In May 2012 the Association was instrumental in setting up the Alde and Ore Estuary Partnership to take on local responsibility for the upgrading and maintaining the river walls. This was an innovative and ground-breaking initiative. Representatives from the local community sit on this partnership including District and Parish councillors, landowners, business representatives, the Alde and Ore Association Chairman and a number of statutory bodies who are there to advise (Environment Agency, Natural England, AONB and County and District Councils). See www.aoep.co.uk
The Partnership plans to upgrade all the defences to a standard so that, in the event of a major surge, while they may be over topped, they should not breach. It is estimated that about £12 million will be needed to do this, some of which will have to be provided by local and private funding as Government funding is now unable to cover 100% of the costs.
The Association works closely with the Partnership, supporting it with research work. Our Chairman, representing the Association and river users, is a voting Partner and she and Amanda Bettinson, another Trustee and also Partnership Secretary, played a major role in the writing of the Draft Estuary Plan which was endorsed in 2016 by Suffolk County and Suffolk Coastal District Councils and the Environment Agency. The next stage is raising the funds for the work which needs to be done and this will start in early 2017.