Canvey Island

Canvey Island (area 18.45 km² – 7.12 mi²; pop. 37,479) is a civil parish and reclaimed island in the Thames estuary in England. It is separated from the mainland of south Essex by a network of creeks. Lying only just above sea level it is prone to flooding at exceptional tides, but has nevertheless been inhabited since the Roman invasion of Britain.

The island was mainly agricultural land until the 20th century when it became the fastest growing seaside resort in Britain between 1911 and 1951. The North Sea flood of 1953 devastated the island costing the lives of 58 islanders, and led to the temporary evacuation of the 13,000 residents. Canvey is consequently protected by modern sea defences comprising 15 miles (24 km) of concrete sea walls.

Canvey is also notable for its relationship to the petrochemical industry. The island was the site of the first delivery in the world of liquefied natural gas by container ship, and later became the subject of an influential assessment on the risks to a population living within the vicinity of petrochemical shipping and storage facilities.

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