February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Assessment of Marine Biodiversity Enhancement Measures for Tidal Lagoon Developments

Oral Presentation
Habitat Loss and Ocean Noise
Friday, February 5, 2016 -
12:15 to 12:30

Crabtree, R. 1 Reach, I. 2 Latto, P. 3

1MarineSpace Ltd, United Kingdom
2MarineSpace Ltd
3MarineSpace Ltd

Tidal lagoons use the capture and release of tidal waters to generate a sustainable source of long-term renewable energy. Within the UK consent has been given for an initial project at Swansea Bay, Wales, with further projects likely in the future. Operation of tidal lagoons involves the construction of seawalls with in-built tidal flow power generation turbines. As part of a tidal lagoon development, habitat loss can be expected, through direct and indirect effects. Provision of replacement habitats may be necessary to mitigate these effects.A method of reviewing and assessing the mitigation and enhancement measures proposed for the construction and operation of tidal lagoons in the UK was developed. The assessment reviewed a number of proposed mitigation methods. For each habitat a review of the available literature was conducted, and the feasibility of biodiversity enhancement measures was evaluated. The review and assessment examined similar measures within UK or temperate waters where applicable. Analogous examples from tropical waters were considered when relevant temperate information was not available. The implications for the use of enhancement or creation of particular habitats were also considered.The level and relevance of available information was assessed through the use of a confidence matrix, allowing a semi-quantitative comparison of the suitability of the enhancement and mitigation. The evaluation showed a varying degree of confidence in the different proposed measures. Habitat re-creation within the marine environment is severely constrained by local conditions. It is therefore a matter of developing a clear policy approach to habitat loss and replacement. Such a policy would need to make a judgment of the habitats that are 'least' and 'most' important.It is suggested that this method of confidence assessment can be used to inform future coastal and marine plans and projects.
Marine habitat enhancement, mitigation, confidence assessment, habitat loss, renewables.

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