Jenkins Marine restoring marine habitats in the Solent

Jenkins Marine team recently handled a delicate and unique project for the Blue Marine Foundation – construction of the Hamble reef.

Photo courtesy of the Blue Marine Foundation

The Hamble reef project is part of a wider multi-million Solent Seascape Scheme which is funded by the Endangered Landscapes Project and aims to restore a wealth of diverse marine species and habitats back to the Solent, in this instance Oysters to the River Hamble.

After careful planning and discussion, and working closely with the River Hamble Harbour Authority and ocean conservation charity Blue Marine, Jenkins team laid a thin veneer of shingle mixed with cockleshells, known as ‘cultch,’ covering 2,500 metres square onto the riverbed.

The company’s 300m³ capacity, self-propelled and highly manoeuvrable hopper barge Needles was on hand for transportation of the shingle mix to site, while the self-propelled spud-leg, utility vessel Doreen Dorward, with its large open deck, well & moon pool, provided a platform for the excavator to precisely deploy the “cultch” at an even thickness of 150mm.

Another great feature – the Prolec precision digital dredging system proved invaluable during this delicate operation.

Photo courtesy of the Blue Marine Foundation

“Jenkins Marine have been the most crucial partner in successfully delivering the Hamble reef. I would like you to pass on my personal thanks… I would also like to personally thank you for all the ideas, solutions, thought and attention you put into this project. It has been a genuine pleasure working with you and the whole Jenkins Marine team,“ commented Louise MacCallum, Solent Project Manager for Blue Marine.

“Oysters sourced from south Wales are being transferred to the site to seed the area at the Swanwick bend in the River. This has been a successful project which we are proud to have been a part of and we look forward to working on further projects with Blue Marine in the future,” Jenkins Marine said in the release.

In 2021 the Solent Seascape Project team restored a 1,000 square metre oyster reef in Langstone Harbour. To date, this existing reef and the new reef in the River Hamble are the only restored reefs in the Solent region.