Marine ecology survey at Morden Wharf

Panorama of Morden Wharf, London

Carcinus Ltd were contracted to conduct a benthic marine ecology survey along the foreshore near Morden Wharf, Greenwich. This survey took the form of a Phase I Habitat Survey to characterise the intertidal communities, sediments, and habitats in the area. The survey was conducted to inform an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for a proposed development in the area, to which Carcinus provided support in the form of scoping support and delivery of an Environmental Statement chapter.

Marine Benthic Survey

Permissions for the survey were granted in the form of a Survey Exemption from the Marine Management Organisation (MMO) and written consent from the Port of London Authority (PLA). A detailed work plan and project-specific risk assessments were compiled prior to the survey and agreed by the client.

Image of ecologist conducting intertidal survey.
Carcinus ecologist conducting a Phase I Intertidal habitat Survey.

Two experienced Carcinus ecologists conducted the survey in a single day, following a standard methodology set out in the Joint Nature Conservation Committee’s Marine Monitoring Handbook. This consisted of using a high-performance handheld GNNS logger to record the positions of several transects along the foreshore. Our ecologists characterised sediment characteristics, geomorphological features, and any biological features along each transect, before randomly placing a series of 0.25 m2 quadrats to record more detailed information on surface flora and fauna within the survey area using the SACFOR scale. Our team also investigated the presence of sub-surface fauna by turning over small sections of sediment to search for larger burrowing fauna.

Following the survey, our staff used the data collected in the field to produce a technical report, detailing the results of the biological and physical analyses, along with an indicative assessment of the biotopes in the area.

Scoping support and Environmental Statement

Building on the excellent working relationship Carcinus developed with the client throughout the survey phase, we were further contracted to deliver an Environmental Statement to support the Environmental Impact Assessment. The drafting of an Environmental Statement is a key component of the EIA processes, and allows readers (be they regulators, statutory consultees or the public) to understand the nature of a proposal and make a decision on the potential environmental impacts.

Carcinus provides a suite of aquatic environmental consultancy services for their clients. For this project, Carcinus’ experienced marine environmental consultants drafted an Environmental Statement focussing on the potential impacts to marine ecological receptors, including:

  • Benthic ecology (both intertidal and subtidal);
  • Marine mammals;
  • Fish; and
  • Marine / aquatic birds.

On September 8th 2021, Greenwich Council’s Planning Committee resolved to grant planning consent to the project.

Find Out More

If you would like to learn more about how Carcinus’ multidisciplinary team can assist with your survey or consultancy needs, please get in touch. Our team can provide a multitude of different environmental services, all of which can be tailored to suit your needs. Read about our capabilities here.

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Benthic Ecology | Environmental Consultancy | Environmental Survey | Intertidal | Marine Ecology