Recreation : Boating-related infrastructure : Summary

Summary of potential effects of boating related infrastructure

Modification of habitats

Impacts on water quality

Impacts from land-side facilities

The magnitude of potential environmental impacts caused by boating facilities developments depends on factors such as the actual location of the development, the scale of the scheme, construction methods and project design and implementation.

Modification of Habitats

Those marina developments that irreversibly modify existing natural habitats are likely to cause the most significant impacts. In particular, where land claim is part of the development, the potential to modify the habitat is greater.

Dredging may induce turbidity and, depending on the scale, may affect tidal regimes. In addition, deep dredging may disturb large benthic communities on the water bed, although evidence of long term impact is limited.

There is a trade off between maintaining adequate flushing characteristics of marina basins by dredging and causing increases in turbidity by the dredging operation.

Dredge spoil disposal can have impacts on species and seabed communities through increased turbitity and smothering.

Impacts on Water Quality

Evidence suggests that water quality in a low flushing marina basin can undergo a number of changes. In particular, water temperature may increase, dissolved oxygen levels may decrease, and there may be increases in certain pollutants such as copper from antifouling paints.

Terrestrial and non-marine invertebrates, abundant in sand dunes and salt marshes, are unlikely to be affected by marina developments unless the construction involves significant modification of their habitats through land claim.

Aquatic estuarine communities, including algae, worms and molluscs, are greatly affected by the loss of estuarine area through land claim and locked basins. This also has a detrimental effect on fish and bird populations which feed on the organisms.

Impacts from Land Side Facilities

The impact of boating facilitiesí operations is dependent to a large degree on the nature of the management procedures on site.

A large variety of toxic chemicals and oils and fuels are handled at boatyards and marinas. Poor management of such materials has the potential to cause significant localised impact on the marine environment.

The provision of adequate facilities for the reception of various wastes, the adoption of run-off minimisation strategies and effective general site management can all improve the environmental performance of a facility


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