Schleswig-Holstein’s state government has declared itself basically willing in the longer term to permit dredged material from the Port of Hamburg to be brought to the silt release area near buoy E3 in the North Sea.
The cabinet decided this on 9 February 2016 in Malente.
“There is urgent pressure for action. With an excessive accumulation of silt, navigability in the Port of Hamburg is already badly affected. Schleswig-Holstein is accordingly ready to assist Hamburg and to ensure the port’s accessibility. That is also of great importance for Schleswig-Holstein,” stated Robert Habeck, Environment Minister.
To find the least ecologically questionable variants, checks have been conducted on areas in the tidal Elbe, i.e. in the estuary coastal waters off Lower Saxony and Schleswig-Holstein as well as in the Exclusive Economic Zone (AWZ).
“From the technical perspective, the silt dumping area in the North Sea has emerged as the most sustainable and ecologically compatible solution,” said Habeck.
The area so far in use there – near Buoy E3 – is about 60 kilometers off the West coast.
Deposit of the sediments at the silt deposit area is conditional on all environmental requirements being met.
The administrative process will embrace not only bodies representing the public interest, but also others from the environmental, fishery and tourism sectors on a voluntary basis.