Dredging – an essential part of sustainable harbor management – is necessary for maintaining navigable channels, including access to ferry terminals, shipyards, businesses, marinas and other mooring facilities.
Both maintenance and capital dredging operations have the potential to impact on the marine environment and Cowes Harbor Commission (CHC) is constantly working with harbor users and statutory authorities to ensure the balance between the use of the estuary and its environment is maintained.
However, many of the conservation concerns in respect to dredging activities relate to the estuary as a whole and therefore, to deliver sustainable development, a dredge management plan needs to be developed for the estuary.
CHC has had as an objective since the 2010-2015 Strategic Framework Document the delivery of a sustainable dredging management plan for the Medina Estuary, and has reiterated its commitment in the new Strategic Plan 2016-2021.
The aim of a ‘Sustainable Dredge Management Plan’ (SDMP) will be to identify the most cost-effective and environmentally responsible methods of sediment management within the harbor for all stakeholders.
Using the recent, comprehensive estuarine sedimentation studies conducted and the resulting conceptual understanding of the estuary system and its evolution, as well as sediment surveys and ongoing monitoring, CHC is now in a position to take forward the development of an SDMP, consulting and working in partnership with dredging stakeholders for the benefit of the harbor.