Existing defences will be renovated and new ones added along sections of the north bank of the Humber and the River Hull.
Work on the defences is expected to start in 2014, and will involve both localised small-scale repairs, and larger projects to both raise the height of lengths of defence and to improve their condition.
Project executive John Pygott said: “This will be a complex, long-term commitment. We are carrying out detailed studies to find the most comprehensive solutions and establish best value for the taxpayer.”
The Environment Agency is working with Hull City Council, East Riding of Yorkshire Council and landowners including Associated British Ports. It is also looking for financial contributions from developers and private businesses that might benefit from specific schemes.
“Funding partnerships are key," said Dr Pygott. "Through working with the wider community we can promote works that support regeneration in Hull and East Yorkshire and bring about real improvements to people’s living and working environments.”
The stretches being investigated include around nine kilometres of the River Hull, from its confluence with the Humber to the city boundary, and on the estuary frontage from Hessle to just downstream of Paull.
Investment in the improvements is likely to span over a period of eight to 10 years, after the plans have been drawn up and agreed by Hull City Council and East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
The works form part of the Environment Agency’s wider Humber Strategy, its long-term plan for managing flood risk from the Humber Estuary.