UK: ABPmer Outlines Habitat Creation Scheme

ABPmer Outlines Habitat Creation Scheme

ABPmer has recently prepared a habitat creation design for the Army Sailing Association, Thorney Island.

The proposed scheme is intended to offset intertidal habitat lost or disturbed by the construction of a new pontoon proposed as part of the works for an upgraded Army inshore sailing training centre that will enable injured service men and women to access the water safely, adjacent to the existing Thorney Island Sailing Club.

The Army Sailing Association is proposing that a new pontoon is constructed across the adjacent mudflats to provide suitable access to the waterway. The construction of this pontoon will result in the direct loss of designated intertidal habitat, and as such, there is a requirement to offset these losses through a habitat creation scheme. The Army Sailing Association, in discussion with Natural England and the Chichester Harbour Conservancy, has identified a suitable location to create intertidal habitat on Thorney Island.

ABPmer provided scientific advice about the design of such a habitat creation scheme at this location, following on from initial designs presented by Opus International Consultants (UK), in order to ensure that a mosaic of habitats (mudflat and saltmarsh) are created.

Stephen Hull, ABPmer’s Technical Director said: “The scheme design proposed for the site will provide a mosaic of intertidal habitats, which would include mudflat, pioneer saltmarsh, low-mid and mid-upper marsh and transitional saltmarsh. The location at which these will develop will depend greatly on the tidal elevations within the site, although the range and amount of habitat being created will be considerably more than that being lost or disturbed through the construction of the pontoon.

ABPmer promotes beneficial use of sediment so if the material extracted from the site to obtain sufficient depths for habitat creation is of a suitable quality, it will be used in the construction of a bund around the scheme, which will provide further coastal protection from flooding. Inundation of the habitat creation area is expected to be achieved through the use of a culvert, which would drain into an existing culvert channel, thus minimising the impact to existing foreshore habitats.”

[mappress]

Press Release, January 15, 2013

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