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Can the benefits of physical seabed restoration justify the costs? An assessment of a disused aggregate extraction site off the Thames Estuary, UK

Cooper, Keith; Burdon, Daryl; Atkins, Jonathan P.; Weiss, Laura; Somerfield, Paul; Elliott, Michael; Turner, Kerry; Ware, Suzanne; Vivian, Chris

Authors

Keith Cooper

Daryl Burdon

Laura Weiss

Paul Somerfield

Professor Mike Elliott Mike.Elliott@hull.ac.uk
Professor of Estuarine and Coastal Sciences/ Research Professor, Institute of Estuarine and Coastal Studies

Kerry Turner

Suzanne Ware

Chris Vivian



Abstract

Physical and biological seabed impacts can persist long after the cessation of marine aggregate dredging. Whilst small-scale experimental studies have shown that it may be possible to mitigate such impacts, it is unclear whether the costs of restoration are justified on an industrial scale. Here we explore this question using a case study off the Thames Estuary, UK. By understanding the nature and scale of persistent impacts, we identify possible techniques to restore the physical properties of the seabed, and the costs and the likelihood of success. An analysis of the ecosystem services and goods/benefits produced by the site is used to determine whether intervention is justified. Whilst a comparison of costs and benefits at this site suggests restoration would not be warranted, the analysis is site-specific. We emphasise the need to better define what is, and is not, an acceptable seabed condition post-dredging.

Publication Date Oct 15, 2013
Journal Marine pollution bulletin
Print ISSN 0025-326X
Electronic ISSN 1879-3363
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 75
Issue 1-2
Pages 33-45
Institution Citation Cooper, K., Burdon, D., Atkins, J. P., Weiss, L., Somerfield, P., Elliott, M., …Vivian, C. (2013). Can the benefits of physical seabed restoration justify the costs? An assessment of a disused aggregate extraction site off the Thames Estuary, UK. Marine pollution bulletin, 75(1-2), 33-45. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.08.009
DOI https://doi.org/10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.08.009
Keywords Aquatic Science; Pollution; Oceanography
Publisher URL http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0025326X1300461X
Additional Information NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Marine pollution bulletin. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Marine pollution bulletin, v.75, issue 1-2 (2013) DOI10.1016/j.marpolbul.2013.08.009

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