River estuaries


Estuaries, where rivers converge with the ocean, are often hailed as the “cradles of marine life”. They are home to numerous fish species, provide habitats for countless birds, and adjacent salt marshes play a crucial role in shoreline stabilisation and flood absorption.

However, a recent study unveils a concerning trend: almost half of the world’s estuaries have undergone human-induced alterations, with 20% of these changes occurring in the past 35 years alone.

Using satellite imagery, scientists assessed transformations in 2,396 estuaries from 1984 to 2019. Their findings, disclosed in Earth’s Future journal, reveal that over this period, urban or agricultural development has encroached upon more than 100,000 hectares (250,000 acres) of estuarine environments.

Most notably, 90% of this loss transpired in rapidly industrialising Asian nations.

Conversely, affluent nations witnessed minimal estuarine degradation in the past 35 years, largely because extensive alterations occurred during earlier phases of their rapid development.

Many prosperous nations now acknowledge and seek to rectify the damage. For instance, the Tees estuary in northern England is investing in initiatives to restore mudflats and salt marshes, aiming to mitigate flood risks, enhance climate resilience, bolster fish populations, and foster ecological recovery.



At Natural World Fund, we are passionate about stopping the decline in our wildlife.

The decline in our wildlife is shocking and frightening. Without much more support, many of the animals we know and love will continue in their decline towards extinction.

When you help to restore a patch of degraded land through rewilding to forests, meadows, or wetlands, you have a massive impact on the biodiversity at a local level. You give animals a home and food that they otherwise would not have had, and it has a positive snowball effect on the food chain.

We are convinced that this is much better for the UK than growing lots of fast-growing coniferous trees, solely to remove carbon, that don’t actually help our animals to thrive.

This is why we stand for restoring nature in the UK through responsible rewilding. For us, it is the right thing to do. Let’s do what’s right for nature!

Donate today at https://naturalworldfund.com/ and join in the solution!


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