The Mersea Harbor Protection Trust has finally received the consents for the Mersea Recharge Project from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO).
“It has taken three years of on site surveys, investigations, meetings with coastal authorities and specialist report writing to finally have all the consents in place,” the Trust said.
“This has cost some £85k, money raised from local contributions, donations from other charities, the Environment Agency and Essex County Council with support from Mersea County Councillor John Jowers. But we now have all the permissions.”
The Mersea Harbor Protection Trust was established four years ago by a group of unpaid volunteers of local oystermen, fishermen, sailors and waterfront interests with great support from the RSPB, local county councilors and MP’s, to try and prevent the rapid erosion to the outer harbor saltmarsh and mudflats that protect the area.
As these protecting mudflats and saltmarshes are washed away by the tides and waves then Mersea Harbor will cease to exist within 70 years. The erosion is only going to get worse as the impacts of rising sea levels and increased storminess accelerates this problem.
This is not only devastating news for harbor users but also for all the wildlife that make these quiet waters their home in summer and winter, according to the Trust.
The preferred method is to import by ship around 98.000 cubic meters of gravel and sand that would be dredged up as part of navigation improvements to the ports of Harwich and Felixstowe, programmed between 2019 and 2024.