The Environment Agency (EA) is a non-departmental public body, established in 1995 and sponsored by the United Kingdom government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), with responsibilities relating to the protection and enhancement of the environment in England (and until 2013 also Wales).
The Environment Agency’s stated purpose is, “to protect or enhance the environment, taken as a whole” so as to promote “the objective of achieving sustainable development” (taken from the Environment Act 1995, section 4). Protection of the environment relates to threats such as flood and pollution. The vision of the Agency is of “a rich, healthy and diverse environment for present and future generations”.
The Environment Agency’s remit covers the whole of England, about 13 million hectares of land, 22,000 miles (35,000 km) of river and 3,100 miles (5,000 km) of coastline seawards to the three-mile limit which includes 2 million hectares of coastal waters. In a sharing arrangement with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), it also exercises some of its functions over parts of the catchments of the River Tweed and the Border Esk which are, for the most part, in Scotland.
The Environment Agency is particularly interested in the mechanisms associated with degredation of historic coastal masonry assets under chronic and acute wave loading. They have programmed investment of £2.3 Billion on Flood & Coastal Erosion Defences over the next 6 years and much of this will involve repair and rehabilitation of existing masonry structures which are subject to this type of wave loading. The Environment Agency will contribute to STORMLAMP by providing access to data and historical records relating to field sites, as well as ad-hoc advice