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Sea The Value

Salt Marsh

Active project

Project start: August 2022  |  Project end: August 2025
Funder: Natural Environment Research Council (NERC)
Principal Investigator: Professor Nicola Beaumont

Sea the Value Logo


To determine novel and policy relevant pluralistic values for marine biodiversity and apply these values to co-develop green investment options, leading to a transformative shift in our understanding and utilisation of the economics of biodiversity. 


Challenges to be addressed

The quantified linkage between biodiversity, Natural Capital and regulating Ecosystem Service provision remains cursory and generalized, with minimal consideration of condition, resilience and local variability. Biodiversity values are often singular and provide minimal recognition of beneficiaries. Mminimal inclusion of biodiversity values in public and private decision making

Sea the Value Project Diagram

We aim for impact in the immediate term, enabling organizations to integrate the economics of biodiversity into their decision-making, with ultimate benefits over the longer term, as depicted in our Theory of Change (above). We will work with key interested parties to develop usable and transferrable outputs in order to ensure Sea The Value research leads to sustainable change.

Research Objectives

Quantify the interlinkages between marine biodiversity, natural capital, and ecosystem services, taking quantity (extent), quality (condition), and resilience into consideration.

Determine the economic and social values associated with carbon sequestration and bioremediation of waste and apply these values to support natural capital accounting frameworks and engage real world communities in mapping social values and trade-offs.

Connect the ecological, economic, and social values of biodiversity to decision-making through co-design and implementation of green investment to maintain and enhance biodiversity.

Milestones & Achievements

  • The project kick-off meeting (Oct 2022)
  • Economics of Biodiversity webinar (November 2022)
  • The Project Steering Group kick-off meeting (Feb 2023)

Project Kick-Off


To summarize, this meeting took place at the very beginning of the project – our first ever Sea The Value project meeting. All partners and work package leads attended. There was great energy and enthusiasm amongst participants. We discussed the goals and aims specific to each work package, as well as how each work package could support one another.

NERC Economics of Biodiversity Kick Off Meeting

This event was run by NERC, and was an opportunity to showcase each of the projects that received funding. Nicky attended on behalf of Sea The Value and presented an overview of the project. 

Project Steering Group kick-off meeting (Feb 2023)

Our first Project Steering Group meeting will be on the 1st February 2023. This meeting includes many high-level academics and policy makers, and is an opportunity for our Steering Group members to hear detailed updates on each work package from our work package leads.

Programme Steering Group

Partha Dasgupta

Professor Sir Partha Dasgupta is Frank Ramsey Emeritus Professor of Economics at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of St John's College, Cambridge, and Professorial Research Fellow at the Sustainable Consumption Institute, University of Manchester. Professor Dasgupta's research interests have covered welfare and development economics, the economics of technological change, population, environmental and resource economics, the theory of games, the economics of undernutrition, and the economics of social capital. 

Andrew Goldie

Andrew Goldie has been the Environmental Advisor for the Port of Cromarty Firth (PoCF) since September 2018. This role is quite varied, as it involves protection of the local environment land based and marine ecosystem as well as attendance on the British Ports Association Environment Group. I also have a NEBOSH National General Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health and assist in the Port’s safety audits, as well as quality and assurance audit checks, as we are ISO 14001 and ISO9001 certified. Before working for the PoCF, I have worked for the National Rivers Authority (NRA), the Environment Agency (EA) for England and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA). These roles have very much been as a regulatory function and around environmental quality in relation to the water environment. I have a BSc (Marine and Freshwater Biology) from Glasgow University and a MSc (Environmental Technology, Water Specialist) from Imperial College, London.

Annette Burdon

Annette Burden leads blue carbon research for the UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (UKCEH). She leads the development of the UK Saltmarsh Carbon Code for use within the voluntary carbon market, is developing a pathway for the potential inclusion of saltmarshes into the UK Greenhouse Gas Inventory, and advises national monitoring networks to collect evidence grade data on carbon storage and pathways. She is also an active member of the UKCEH peatland research group, and has a keen interest in green finance as a mechanism to increase habitat restoration.

Ben Leyshon

NatureScot is Scotland’s nature agency acting as a key statutory adviser to the Scottish Government. It fulfils responsibilities across Scotland as a whole, including urban and rural Scotland, and covering a range of environments including land, freshwater, and marine. Regenerating and restoring nature is a vital part of our work. In 2019, Scotland was the first nation to declare a climate emergency. The nature crisis goes hand in hand with the climate emergency. We must make the step change necessary to secure a nature-rich and resilient future for all. Our vision seeks to protect the nature we have, restore and regenerate it to good health, underpinned by increasing recognition of the value of nature. The Sea the Value project is an important way of recognising these broad principles and applying them in the context of marine and coastal habitats and species at both the local and national levels.

David Paterson

Professor David M. Paterson FMBA, University of St Andrews, is Executive Director of the Marine Alliance for Science and Technology for Scotland (MASTS) and Chairs the Sullom Voe Oil Terminal Environmental Advisory Group (SOTEAG). He has 25 years of experience in research on the dynamics and ecology of marine systems, including ecological aspects of decommissioning.

Ed Barbier
Ed Barbier

Edward B. Barbier is a University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Economics, Colorado State University, USA and is a member of the Sea the Value Programme Steering Group. View profile.
Latest book: Barbier, E.B. 2022. Economics for a Fragile Planet. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge and New York.

Justine Saunders

Justine Saunders has fifteen years of experience in environmental policy analysis, integrating ecosystem services and our understanding of value into public decision making. A private consultant at Saunders Consultancy, she is now working with businesses, investors and regulators to integrate the value of nature into private decision-making.  Frameworks and methods need to be applicable across the whole supply chain so scaling up from individual sites and projects to the whole company level is a critical challenge. She has  a particular focus on the marine sector and environment as well as  issues pertaining to Indigenous Peoples and Local Communities.  She is currently working on EU funded projects Align, Transparent and SELINA.

Kaija Barisa

Kaija is the Senior Economist at Blue Marine Foundation. She joined in 2021 after completing her MSc in Environmental Economics and Policy at Imperial College London where she wrote her thesis on the impacts of socioeconomics on coastal ecosystem valuation. Kaija works on developing and applying innovative financing mechanisms to Blue Marine’s projects and helps use economics to communicate the value of the ocean to stakeholders.

Kirsten Dinwoodie

I am a policy officer working in Marine Scotland’s National Marine Planning Team, currently working to deliver Scotland’s “National Marine Plan 2 (NMP2).”  My role involves drafting objectives and policies to be delivered by the NMP2, carrying out and reviewing assessments of the environmental and socio-economic impacts of these policies, and providing briefings to support Scottish Ministers when speaking publicly about the Plan development.”

Peter Macreadie

Professor Peter Macreadie is Marine Scientist. His research focuses on understanding and responding to the impacts of global change on aquatic ecosystems (namely marine, but also freshwater). His approach to research is multi-disciplinary, spanning the fields of ecology, chemistry, microbiology, economics, policy, and molecular biology. Macreadie is Founder and Director of Deakin University's  Blue Carbon Lab  and holds the position of Professor in Marine Science. He is the Chair of the Independent Scientific Advisory Board for the National Decommissioning Research Initiative. Macreadie is actively involved in translating science into policy; he sits on the Australian Academy of Sciences Future Earth Oceans and Coasts Expert Working Group, and the Australian Government’s Blue Carbon Expert Working Group. Macreadie has published >200 peer-reviewed papers.

Simon Walmsley

Responsible for leading WWF-UK’s scientific understanding in the marine realm and providing strategic direction to the breadth of work undertaken by WWF-UK and the WWF Network. Acting as a primary contact point for WWF with relevant government departments, specialists in the private sector, other NGOs, the research community, specialist networks and international policymakers.  In particular providing science policy interphase expertise and experience around Ocean Governance, blue carbon and commissioning and undertaking research to provide the case for action and pathways of delivery .

Steve Fletcher

Steve Fletcher is Professor of Ocean Policy and Economy at the University of Portsmouth. He leads the NERC-funded Solent to Sussex Bay Seascape Restoration Network project and the Diverse Marine Values project funded through the NERC/ESRC Sustainable Management of Marine Resources research programme.  He is a UN International Resource Panel member and is working with UNEP on sustainable blue economy transitions. 

Vicky Morgan

Head of marine Natural Capital, developing and leading this growing area of work for JNCC, Vicky has expertise in biodiversity and Natural Capital, and has worked for many years at the science-policy interface, in the UK and Europe and on Multinational Environmental Agreements. She has worked on standards and opportunities to enable environmental data to inform research, managed numerous procurements and is an experienced member of expert funding panels.

Sue Ranger

Sue is the Head of Strategic Impact and Social Science at the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) where she’s worked since 2001. She currently leads a multi-disciplinary team of researchers and practitioners designing and delivering projects which ensure that the charity is taking a rigorous and holistic approach. Sue is currently completing a PhD with the University of the Highlands and Islands which explores and applies a well-being centred approach to consideration of benefit and value in social-ecological relationships.

Jackie Mellan

Solent & South Downs (SSD) - Integrated Catchment Management – Estuaries and Coast lead. I work with a wide range of external partners and colleagues, to support a more integrated and collaborative approach to the management of estuarine and coastal waters. We work together to identify and drive activities that offer multiple benefits, and ensure that environmental improvements are delivered through effective and innovative interventions in the wider catchment. I lead the EA/NE/IFCA/MMO SSD Restoring Estuarine & Coastal Waters Planning Group and Network, Co-Chair with NE the Coastal Resilience Working Group in Chichester Harbour, Chair the Sussex Marine & Coastal Forum, and sit on various national/local Partnership and Project Steering Groups.
I am a trained Ecologist, now specialising in strategic marine planning, engagement, and project management. I also have a sound knowledge base in biodiversity, water quality, water resources, groundwater, river and coastal systems, environmental monitoring, regulation, and incident management.

Professor William (Bill) Austin

Professor William (Bill) Austin is former chair of the Marine Studies Group and a Professor in the School of Geography and Sustainable Development at the University of St Andrews. He graduated in Geology from University College London and holds a Masters in Micropalaeontology and Doctorate in Ocean Sciences, completed with joint supervision from the British Geological Survey. He has held research fellowships from the Royal Society of London, the Royal Society of Edinburgh and is a founding member and continues to serves on the UK Natural Environment Research Council Peer Review College. After a Lectureship at the University of Durham, Bill moved to St Andrews in 1999 as Reader; he was appointed Professor in 2015. He also holds a visiting chair appointment at the Scottish Association for Marine Sciences, where he is Professor of Marine Geology. Bill is Chair of the Scottish Blue Carbon Forum (Scottish Government), sits on the steering group of the Scottish Forum on Natural Capital and leads the United Nations Decade Programme for Blue Carbon in the Global Ocean (UNESCO).

Aisling Lannin
My role is Head of Evidence and Evaluation at the MMO. My team support our MMO service teams using science and evaluation to make decisions about the marine environment.
Ian Bateman

Professor of Environmental Economics, Director of the Land, Environment, Economics and Policy Institute (LEEP) and Director of the South West Partnership for Environment & Economic Prosperity (SWEEP) 

Angus Garbutt

Angus Garbutt is the UKCEH Bangor lead for research and projects with a focus on the Land-Sea Interface. Work focuses on field experimentation, long-term and national scale monitoring, quantifying the relationships between ecosystem functions and the goods and benefits they provide. I am a coastal specialist and expert in saltmarsh ecology, processes and management and the ecology of intertidal mudflats and the relationship between sediments, benthic invertebrates and shore birds. I work with a wide range of Government Agencies and funders (e.g. Welsh Government, Environment Agency, Natural resources Wales, Natural England, Natural Environment Research Council, RSPB) and collaborate with business (e.g. North West Energy Squared, APEM) to provide evidence based solutions to policy, science and business needs. 

Jess Taylor

Natural England is the government’s advisor on the natural environment in England. We provide practical advice, grounded in science, on how best to safeguard England’s natural wealth for the benefit of everyone. Our remit is to ensure sustainable stewardship of the land and sea so that people and nature can thrive. It is our responsibility to see that England’s rich natural environment can adapt and survive intact for future generations to enjoy. Our ambition is not just to improve nature, but to work in partnership through projects like Sea the Value to see it thriving everywhere, because we recognise that a healthy natural environment is fundamental to everyone’s wealth, health and happiness. This reflects the need for us to work with and through a wide range of people and also the need for rapid action to re-build sustainable ecosystems and thereby protect and restore habitats, species and landscapes. View profile

Vicki Castro-Spokes


Chris Sweeting

Marine Management Organisation

Colin Armstrong

Deputy Director of Marine and Fisheries Policy and Legislation - View profile

Kirsty Lindenbaum

Natural Resources Wales

Alan Tinline

Group Head of Health, Safety & Environment at Associated British Ports - View profile

Kate Rice

Natural Capital Strategy Manager at Southern Water - View profile

David Tudor

Projects Director - 'Global Ocean'  - View profile

Joe Perry

Climate Change Coordinator at Highland Council

Elaine Jamieson

Head of Food and Drink and Life Sciences and lead for the Blue Economy at Highlands and Islands Enterprise - View profile

Fiona Munro

Senior Policy Officer – Regional Marine Planning at The Scottish Government - View profile

Claire Upton-Brown

View profile

Sam Collin
Georgina Reid


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Who Is Involved

Sea The Value brings together a unique interdisciplinary team of organisations:

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