MoRPh Estuaries – communities assessing estuarine habitats

Thames21 is leading a collaborative project to test a new citizen science programme to monitor the health of estuary habitats. Assessing the quality of physical habitat in estuarine systems is vital if we are to sustain the rich wildlife they support and provide coastal flood protection for communities. MoRPh Estuaries (short for ‘Modular River Physical’) allows people to assess the quality of habitats on their local estuary. The goal is for communities to better understand the condition of their neighbouring estuary habitats and be empowered to work towards their protection, working alongside relevant authorities. You can find out more on the project storymap.  

Volunteers are trained as citizen scientists to carry out the assessments and help fine-tune the method, using the Thames and Wyre estuaries as test sites. On the Thames, the locations around Barking Creek and Bow Creek, which display a range of suitable estuarine habitats, have been used for testing.

The project culminates in a stakeholder conference on the 22nd April to share results and discuss its application on the Thames estuary. This is open to members of the public, local authorities, developers and statutory authorities responsible for nature protection. Following the completion of the project, new opportunities for expanding the project on the Thames will be sought.

The project runs from December 2021 to April 2022 and is funded by the Environment Agency’s Championing Coastal Coordination fund. The project partners are the Wyre River Trust, the Rivers Trust, Cartographer and Queen Mary University. 

If you would like any more information and would like to attend the final conference please contact 

More information about the MoRPh Rivers initiative can be found on the Modular River Survey website.

View of the training survey site on the Barking Creek.