EA - The Environment Agency is a non-departmental public body sponsored by the UK Government’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA). It is the primary public body for environmental regulation within England. The Environment Agency has over 10,000 staff and an annual budget of over £1 billion, which makes it the largest environment (protection) agency in Europe. The principal aims of the Environment Agency are to protect and improve the environment, and to promote sustainable development. It plays a central role in delivering the environmental priorities of central government through its functions and roles.
The Operations Directorate is the largest part of the Environment Agency. It carries out environmental improvements across the whole of England and is split into 16 geographical Areas. These Areas work with local communities to protect and improve the local environment. Area staff also monitor river water quality by surveying, collecting and analysing thousands of water samples every year. The Environment Agency is responsible for protecting and improving the ecological status of water bodies under the Water Framework Directive. In 2011 to 2012, it spent £10 million on catchment restoration and £9 million on targeted catchments to help achieve good status. It works with partners at a national and local scale to implement water quality improvements through an integrated, catchment-based approach. This work provides multi benefits for people and wildlife, including the economic regeneration of cities and communities across England.
Staff at the Environment Agency have developed and tested the Acoustic Remote Controlled (ARC) Boat. This innovative remote controlled boat is 2 metres long and is operated by one person. This enables Environment Agency Hydrometry teams to survey waterways ten times more efficiently than they previously could. The Environment Agency has 30 ARC-Boats and nearly 20 have been sold to other countries including Canada and New Zealand.