At the AGM held at WMYC on Monday 24th, the Trust was pleased to announce that following our presentation to at a meeting of the Anglian (Eastern) Regional Flood & Coastal Committee on Friday 21st April the Committee approved our request for funding the total costs of the proposed Recharge and follow up activities such as monitoring and maintenance totalling around £340,000.
Our submission of the Environmental Statement and application for consents was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation in November. They have put it out for consultation to interested parties such as Natural England, Historic England and local authorities as well as the public. The consultation period is now finished and the MMO have provided us with an initial summary of responses received which are basically very favourable, but still require a few answers, which will not present a problem. We therefore expect a final response in the next few weeks, and will advise you
However we still have to negotiate the supply and delivery of the material from Harwich Harbour Authority although they have now indicated that, owing to current conditions in global shipping markets, their dredging programme is likely to be deferred until possibly 2022-23. There is still a lot of work for us to do in preparation for the Recharge but we are confident that we will be ready when the time comes.
WE SHALL SAVE OUR HARBOUR
The Mersea Harbour Protection Trust has now applied to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for consent for the proposed recharge under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009 and the Marine Works (Environmental Impact Assessment) Regulations 2007 (as amended). This public notification is to enable members of the public to comment direct to the MMO.
A hard copy of the Environmental Statement has been placed in West Mersea Library, but some of the Appendices may be easier to view here. The public consultation dates run from 3 March 2017 for 42 days ie until 13 April 2017. If you support the recharge project or would like to make representation known, then The Mersea Harbour Protection Trust would appreciate your comments direct to the MMO through this public notification process.
Representations in respect of the application should ordinarily be made by visiting the MMO public register and accessing the make a comment section of case reference MLA/2016/00386. By email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by letter addressed to Marine Management Organisation, Lancaster House, Hampshire Court, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE4 7YH. In all cases, correspondence must be received by the 13th April 2017. You must also quote the case reference, MLA/2016/00386 and include an address to which correspondence relating to the representation or objection may be sent.
The final Environmental Statement for the Mersea Harbour Protection Trust recharge project is now complete and was submitted to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) on 22 September with our application for the essential licences to proceed.
This has taken a huge amount of work and combines all the surveys, investigations, risk assessments etc. This document has been produced by Carol Reid, our consultant, peer reviewed and specialist input from Mark Dixon and with massive support from Jim Pullen on graphics, ideas, on site monitoring etc and the RSPB on bird data. It can be viewed in the Download section of the site.
Colchester Borough Council Sustainability Event – “Building Resilient Communities (BRC)” on the 11th November at the Mercury Theatre. Mark Dixon is giving two lectures based on our experience of establishing the Mersea Recharge. – 1. Community action and the difference it can make. 2. How did we do it – developing a plan for your project. http://www.colchester.gov.uk/article/19335/Building-Resilient-Communities-Sustainability-Event
ABP Mer Habitat Creation Conference London, 17 November 2016 – “Using Dredge Materials and Other ‘Wastes’ to Benefit Our Coast”. The Mersea Recharge project will be featured as a case study to illustrate opportunities protecting coastal habitats with saltmarsh recharge, enhancing coast protection through beach nourishment and demonstrate the social, economic and environmental value of such schemes. http://www.abpmer.co.uk/buzz/habitat-creation-conference-booking-opens/
The Essex County Council have approved a further £15000 from their 2015/16 CIF fund in addition to similar amounts from 2013/14 and 2014/15 which have funded much of the consultancy and survey work involved in preparation of the final application to the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) for consent to the Recharge.
This latest sum will be put towards the fees and expenses which MMO will charge us for considering the application.
The Essex Community Fund have provided a total of £5000 towards the cost of the recharge. This money has come from two local family trust funds – The Minter Family Trust and the Acorn Fund. It will be used specifically to pay for laboratory analysis of samples to identify and quantify the invertebrate community currently present on the recharge sites.
For details of the Essex Community see www.essexcommunityfoundation.org.uk
An extensive draft Scoping/Screening Report was submitted to Natural England for comment and approval prior to further work in preparation of the final application to MMO. Whilst the report was found to be largely comprehensive, they have suggested full Environmental Impact Assessment.
You can read this document in our Downloads page.
Local Marine Surveyor Jim Pullen has provided essential topographical and hydrographic data including aerial photography that you can see included in our documents in the Downloads page, that are a crucial part of the consent process.
The Trust has appointed Environmental Consultant Carol Reid to prepare the submission to the consenting bodies, including Natural England and the Marine Management Organisation.
The Royal Society for Protection of Birds (RSPB) have carried out surveys on our behalf, saving us £20,000. We are really grateful for their ongoing support to help us save Mersea Harbour.