In the Solent, recreational activity surveys monitor 5 sites every summer to obtain data on all activity that may interact with seagrass including: walking, swimming, paddle boarding, jet skiing, vessels, wind surfing, beach recreation, bait digging and kayaking etc. These surveys have shown the category interacting with seagrass beds the most across all sites is vessels (yachts, dinghies, power boats etc) which has therefore been the focus of the work within ReMEDIES.

However, we are also addressing other recreational activities. The Green Blue talk at events for watersports including the annual RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show. These events are opportunities to share more information about sensitive seabed habitats and the potential disturbance to them from recreational activity, including best practice advice.

In the Solent, we are lucky to work alongside many other organisations and projects that are working on similar themes. Bird Aware Solent Home - Bird Aware Solent are currently working on best practice advice that will include interactive maps of wildlife-friendly routes and launching and landing points to minimise disturbance to fragile habitats.

 

Mapping Debris Project

The Solent Maritime Special Area of Conservation (SAC) has a history of high industrial and recreational activity that is supported by items that have the potential to be left, creating debris. When left on the seabed, these create a hazard to marine ecology, smothering sensitive seabed habitats and reducing the availability of space for intertidal species.

As part of the LIFE Recreation ReMEDIES project, we aim to help towards the removal of seabed debris to cultivate a better environment for sensitive seabed species and aid habitat restoration. The first step in achieving this to understand the level of pressure marine debris places upon the seabed. This is being achieved by mapping of debris items in the designated feature mudflats and sandflats not covered by seawater at low tide. As well as the location of each item, the removability of the debris was assessed taking into account its size, distance from shore and type of habitat it is in.

We are excited to share the results of this work soon.