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Convened by:

18-20 June 2019

Telford International Centre, UK

Gemma Carey

Gemma Carey

Gemma Carey

Environmental Scientist, Black & Veatch Speaking On: Day 1 (20th March)
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  • Saltmarsh recharge by beneficial use of dredged material as an effective approach to coastal protection

Lymington Harbour Commissioners undertook a saltmarsh recharge trial between 2014 and 2016 as an alternative method of disposing maintenance dredged material from Lymington Harbour, while also protecting the rapidly eroding saltmarsh habitat. Over 19,000 tonnes of material was deposited to a tidal creek in three annual phases.

Bathymetric surveying illustrated that a substantial amount of material was retained in the immediate dumping area, with an average rise of 0.36m in bed level, six months after the last dumping event. As expected, most of the sediment dispersed into the surrounding environment, leaving a small proportion in the saltmarsh, contributing to its regeneration and protecting the edge of saltmarsh from wave action.

 Overall, the trial was considered to be a successful, innovative approach to coastal protection, with the saltmarsh benefitting physically and ecologically; the Commissioners plan to continue the scheme, to promote and enhance saltmarsh stability.

The presentation will consider the following challenges that were overcome: 

  • Slow down/reverse the rate of saltmarsh retreat; 
  • Enhance the existing saltmarsh habitat; 
  • Reduce wave energy and encourage deposition of sediment, without disturbing the existing designated areas. 

It will conclude by weighing up advantages and disadvantages of the trial, and the effectiveness of replicating this approach elsewhere.

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