Rochester (Frindsbury) Wharf, Kent, owned and operated by Hanson Aggregates Marine Ltd (HAML), is an important site for the landing of marine sand and gravel in the Medway Estuary. Sediment had accumulated within the berth fronting the marine aggregate processing plant restricting the safe access of vessels to the site.
ABPmer was commissioned by HAML to undertake the required assessments in support of a marine licence application to dredge the berth. This included an environmental appraisal, Habitats Regulations Assessment (HRA), Water Framework Directive (WFD) Assessment and Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) Assessment.
To inform the assessment a subtidal benthic grab survey was undertaken directly within and nearby to the proposed dredging works. The main objective of the survey was to assess the baseline invertebrate assemblage and sediment contaminant conditions at the site.
In addition, data from the survey would be used to better understand the potential presence of the protected tentacled lagoon worm Alkmaria romijni in the dredging area and provide additional distribution records for the Medway Estuary Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) (if confirmed present). The scope of the survey was agreed in advance with regulators as part of the licence application process.
A marine licence has now been successfully determined for these works.