Symposium: Ecological connectivity across temperate coastal habitats – moving towards seascape scale restoration

22 Nov - 23 Nov 2022

Coastal and estuarine habitats in Europe have been decimated over the last 200 years. In England, we have lost 85% of our saltmarsh, extirpated seagrass from 50% of our coastal waterbodies and removed 95% of our oyster habitat. Yet these habitats are some of the most important for carbon-storing and other provisioning services such as fisheries, improving water quality, and coastal defences, which Nature based Solutions so depend on.

An increasing evidence base illustrates the critical value of these coastal habitats individually. In this UN Decade on Ecosystem Restoration, the number and scale of restoration efforts is increasing and now is the time to reflect on the potential of the seascape to deliver for nature and people at a large scale. The role of habitats as part of a dynamic and resilient system is beginning to be understood, and with the Decade on Ecological Restoration and the Ocean Decade both underway, now is the time to reflect on what seascape connectivity could mean and what can be achieved in the longer term. Symposium sessions will focus on ecological connectivity, climate mitigation, resilience, restoration potential and benefits of restoration of threatened coastal habitats.

This two-day symposium will provide a comprehensive review of the current state of science surrounding habitat connectivity in temperate coastal systems and provide a firm basis for discussion and networking relating to the policy and practical importance of this understanding. It will bring together a varied audience of scientists, policy makers, restoration practitioners and interested parties looking to provide evidence and delivery of seascape restoration. 

Image: Seagrass bed beneath the Helford River SAC in Cornwall, providing crucial habitat to a small-spotted catshark © Lewis Michael Jefferies


Ticket registration is now open

Please purchase your tickets using the link below. 

 tickets for Symposium & Dinner


  • Both days Adult ticket: £160
  • Both days Discounted ticket: £80
  • 1-day Adult ticket: £100
  • 1-day Discounted ticket: £50
  • Symposium dinner (22 November): £40

An Adult is a person from 16 - 64 years old. Discounted tickets include: ZSL Members, Fellows, Patrons or Staff; Students; Senior citizens (aged 65+); or disabled persons. Please be aware discounted ticket holders may need to show proof of identification (e.g. valid photographic student identity card) on arrival.  See Terms & Conditions for more information. 

We want our events to be as inclusive and accessible as possible, so we are delighted to offer a limited number of bursary tickets available for this symposium. For more information download the File application form here (504.71 KB) (deadline 1 November).

Meals and refreshments:

Coffee, tea and a buffet sandwich lunch are included in the symposium ticket price. Dinner is not included and dinner tickets must be purchased separately. Please note: all food served at this symposium will be vegetarian and vegan. 


Poster submission

We invite attendees to submit a scientific poster showcasing projects and/or research based on marine coastal habitat restoration. Submissions highlighting ecological connectivity across temperate coastal habitats, and examples of seascape scale restoration are of particular interest. Please download the File poster application form here (506.75 KB) (deadline 1 November).


To view the programme overview, PDF icon click here (286.14 KB)



  • Dr Ronald Baker, University of South Alabama, USA and Dauphin Island Sea Lab
  • Dan Crockett, Blue Marine Foundation
  • Alison Debney, Zoological Society of London
  • Professor Michael Depledge CBE, University of Exeter Medical School & Eden Project
  • Dr Rachel Dunk, Manchester Metropolitan University
  • Dr Philine zu Ermgassen, University of Edinburgh
  • Angus Garbutt, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH)
  • Dr Juhyung Lee, Northeastern University, USA
  • Dr Dominic McAfee, University of Adelaide, Australia
  • Professor Pippa Moore, Newcastle University
  • Dr Nathalie Pettorelli, Zoological Society of London
  • Dr Simon Pittman, Oxford Seascape Ecology Lab, University of Oxford
  • Dr Joanne Preston, University of Portsmouth and UK Native Oyster Network
  • Roger Proudfoot, Environment Agency, UK
  • Dr Simon Reeves, The Nature Conservancy, Australia
  • Professor Steven Simpson, University of Bristol and University of Exeter
  • Dr Ruth Thurstan, University of Exeter
  • Dr Stephen Watson, Plymouth Marine Laboratory
  • Karel van den Wijngaard, ARK Nature
  • Dr Thomas Worthington, University of Cambridge




Event Information


COVID-19 Disclaimer

This symposium will be held in person at ZSL’s meeting rooms in London, with a maximum capacity of 200 attendees, provided that government guidance regarding COVID-19 does not change. If circumstances change, there is a possibility that the event could be impacted, held online, or cancelled altogether in accordance with government guidance, and attendees will be contacted at the earliest opportunity. To reduce risk, we will strongly encourage all speakers and attendees obtain a COVID test within 2 days of the symposium, and only attend if the test result is negative. 

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