Broads can learn from Everglades

The Everglades with its sub-tropical climate and exotic wildlife would seem a world apart from The Broads.However, the message of an international conference in Norwich yesterday was that important parallels can be drawn and lessons learned from the way Florida's wetland park is managed.

The Everglades with its sub-tropical climate and exotic wildlife would seem a world apart from The Broads.

However, the message of an international conference in Norwich yesterday was that important parallels can be drawn and lessons learned from the way Florida's wetland park is managed.

The Assembly House conference, entitled Coastal Lowland Catchments and Shallow Lakes, Challenges and Solutions, also focused on other wetland areas as far apart as Somerset and Holland.

Andrea Kelly, the Broads Authority's conservation officer, who opened the conference to more than 140 delegates, said that while the Everglades with its sub-tropical climate was very different to the Broads, some of the pressures it faced were the same.

There was a shared problem of nutrients from farm fertilisers polluting its water system, and huge pressures from population growth - something the Broads could face with housing expansion around Norwich.

Broads Authority chairman Prof Kerry Turner said the conference highlighted the importance of building up a pooled science base to help with the complex task of managing areas like the Broads and issues such as climate change.

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He said the conference had flagged up the importance of partnership working to help reconcile potential conflicts, for example between tourism, leisure and conservation. “In our area, it is evident that agencies such as the Broads Authority and Environment Agency need to work together more effectively, and on another level there is a need to bring stakeholders more into the management process,” he said.

The conference included lectures on Broads research, including the fruits of recent PhD investigations assessing pollutants entering the Upper Thurne waterways, water balance, the impact of climate change and novel methods of monitoring the environment using remote sensing.

Prof Brian Moss, who lectured at UEA until the late 1980s, returned from Liverpool University to discuss the conflicting issues surrounding Hickling Broad.

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