Southport Marine Lake

Carcinus Ltd were contracted to complete Marine Ecology Surveys and provide input to the EIA for a new Marine Lakes Events Centre at Southport Marine Lake. The surveys took the form of a Phase I Habitat Survey, followed by a Secondary Extended Phase I and Fish Ecology survey to characterise the intertidal communities, sediments, and habitats in the area. The surveys were used to inform an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for the proposed development, for which Carcinus provided support in the form of scoping and delivery of an Environmental Statement chapter.

South Port Marine Lake

Marine Ecology Survey

Phase I Visual Survey

No formal permissions or consents were required as the entire survey area was public land. Prior to the survey, a detailed work plan and project-specific risk assessments were compiled and agreed by the client.

The survey utilised a Phase I approach to characterise intertidal and marginal sediments, habitats, and fauna, with emphasis given to describing any visible species/biotopes of conservation importance. The survey mainly comprised a walkover assessment to identify and record the main substrate areas that were visible from the lake margins and structures, noting any features of ecological interest. Records of fauna were created during the survey and habitats were evaluated for their potential to support protected species/species of conservation concern (including priority species). Water samples were collected and analysed for salinity to give an indication of how saline the lake is, and provide more information of the hydraulic connectivity between the lake and the sea.

Waterfowl at Southport Marine Lake

Following the Phase I survey, our staff used the data collected in the field to produce a technical report, summarising the biodiversity, sediments, and habitat types found during the survey.

Secondary Extended Phase I and Fish Ecology Survey

Carcinus then undertook a Secondary Extended Phase I and Fish ecology Survey to provide greater detail about the marine ecological community of the application site, and provide supplementary information to confirm the findings of the ES Chapter. Carcinus employed our standard survey methodology to understand the fish and benthic communities of the Marine Lake, in addition to Particle Size Distribution and Chemistry analyses of the Lake’s Sediment. The approach for all surveys was agreed in principle with Natural England and Merseyside Environmental Advisory Service.

Fyke net fishing at Southport Marine Lake

Fish Ecology surveys were conducted using double-ended Fyke Nets to collect demersal species. A hand-held van Veen grab was used to collect both Benthic samples of the macroinvertebrate communities, and to collect sediment for chemical contaminant concentration analysis. Subsamples of each benthic sample were taken for PSD analysis.

Following these surveys, our staff utilised the data collected in the field to produce an additional technical report linking back to the initial Phase I survey and confirming the findings of the ES Chapter (already written due to survey timings and constraints).

Environmental Statement and Scoping Support

Carcinus also delivered an Environmental Statement to support the Environmental Impact Assessment of the project. This is a key part of the planning process and allows all those interested and involved, including the public, to better understand the nature of the proposal and make informed decisions of the potential environmental impacts.

The Environmental Statement for this project focused on the potential impacts to marine ecological receptors, including:

  • Benthic Ecology
  • Fish Ecology
  • Shellfish Ecology

We really enjoyed being a part of this project, and were excited to learn that the scheme received unanimous approval at Planning Committee on 27th April 2023. Carcinus Ltd are looking forward to updates on the project as it progresses.

Read the full article here:

Southport Marine Lake moorings

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.