Last call to get involved with public consultation on marine site – Fishupdate.com
Last call to get involved with public consultation on marine site Published: 11 November, 2011
Consultation on Studland to Portland possible marine Special Area of Conservation ends on Thursday 24th November 2011.
There is still time to get involved in the public consultation on proposals for a possible new Special Area of Conservation (SAC) between Studland to Portland, off the Dorset coast. The proposed marine protected area, which will form part of the Natura 2000 European network of marine protected areas, is over 330sq kms approximately half the size of the New Forest National Park and it contains a wide range of diverse, rare reef features.
The formal 12 week consultation is being run by Natural England and is looking to seek the views of all interested parties on the scientific case for designation of this possible SAC, and on its likely economic, environmental and social impacts. Key information, such as the consultation guidance document and maps of the proposed SAC, are on Natural Englands website: www.naturalengland.org.uk/ourwork/marine/sacconsultation/default.aspx
Natural England wants to ensure that as many people as possible can take part in the consultation before it closes on Thursday 24th November. In 2012 Natural England will send the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs final site recommendations, an impact assessment, a report on the outcome of the consultation and a collation of all responses received. Having taken these into account, the Government will then decide whether to submit this possible SAC to the European Commission for inclusion in the Natura 2000 network.
To comment formally, please email: email@example.comOr write to: Fiona McNie, Natural England, Level 10, Renslade House, Bonhay Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 3AW.
The proposed marine protected area between Studland to Portland is over 330sq kms just over half the size of the New Forest National Park and contains a wide range of diverse, rare reef features. The Studland Bay to Ringstead Bay reefs, for example, are a mixture of exposed shales and clays, limestone, boulders and chalk bedrock. The reefs provide important platforms for colonisation of species such as the Weymouth carpet coral, and reef-building Ross worms. The Portland reefs are characterised by flat bedrock, ledges, cobbles and rugged limestone boulders with deep gullies and overhangs. Communities of barnacles and sponges have made their home in mini caves here, with mussel beds found in high densities on the bedrock.