CEDA Issues Update on the EU Marine Strategy Directive (The Netherlands)

CEDA as an official stakeholder has been participating in the work relating to the implementation of the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) from the second part of 2009.

This concise document introduces briefly the MSFD and explains why and in what way is CEDA involved in the discussions relating to the implementation of the Directive.

Why is the MSFD relevant for dredging activities?

The MSFD mainly applies to marine waters (normally beyond 1nm) and will influence activities including sediment management, sand mining, laying of cables and pipelines, dredging for the offshore and wind farm industries etc. Navigation dredging and new constructions (harbours, breakwaters, bridges, and tunnels), land reclamation, coastal protection may also be affected where these activities occur in marine waters (i.e. beyond coastal waters). The MSFD will provide guidance to Member States about how to decide what GES means for their seas. In turn, it is likely that Member States will consider the extent to which economic activities, such as dredging in marine waters, may affect the achievement of GES in their seas. It is possible that Member States will require consideration of the Directive as part of Environmental Impact Assessments thereby forming part of the consenting process potentially including mitigating measures and monitoring programmes. However, as GES is to be achieved at the regional or sub‐regional sea level there is currently considerable uncertainty about how (or whether) Member States will apply the MSFD at project level.

The MFSD will operate in a very complex environment spread out over a multitude of geographical sea‐borders and, for litter, cetaceans and noise along differing coastal‐ and estuarine systems. For these reasons it is clear that the implementation process needs to be considered carefully. Furthermore, the seas throughout the Member States are highly variable requiring an approach where EU regulation is sufficiently high level (hence a ‘framework’ directive) and national regulations implemented locally.

How is the navigation and dredging sector input organised?

The Commission encourages stakeholders to work together to co‐ordinate their input to the MSFD implementation process through so called “thematic clusters”. In response to this, stakeholder organizations with interests in maritime navigation and dredging proactively initiated a “navigation cluster” known as the Marine Strategy Navigation Group (MSNG)*. The task of the MSNG is to coordinate the exchange of knowledge, experience and views and where possible and relevant to translate the knowledge available within the combined membership of the participating associations into professional advice that can be used in the implementation process of the MSFD. Chaired by CEDA (Nicola Clay, HR Wallingford, UK), MSNG was formed approximately one year ago and has been actively participating in the MSCG and its working groups since.

More Info on CEDA’s Website


Source: CEDA, July 9, 2010