February 1st to 5th 2016
Olhão, Portugal
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Habitat loss: climate change vs tidal lagoon construction

Scientific Exhibition
Habitat Loss and Ocean Noise
Thursday, February 4, 2016 -
17:30 to 19:30

Crabtree, R. 1 Johnson, G.E. 2

1MarineSpace Ltd, United Kingdom
2MarineSpace Ltd

The 2009 Renewable Energy Directive sets a target for the UK to achieve 15% of its energy consumption from renewable sources by 2020. The creation of tidal lagoons at locations around the UK coast will help to meet theses renewable energy targets. However, there will be a level of localised habitat loss associated with the construction of these projects. Additionally anthropogenic induced climate change will affect UK marine and coastal habitats in the future which will also result in the loss of habitats. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) coastal systems will increasingly experience adverse impacts such as submergence, coastal flooding and coastal erosion due to relative sea level rise. This will result in the loss of sensitive habitats such as seagrass beds, as well as sand and mudflats. Mitigation measures associated with the development of tidal lagoons have been developed. These mitigation and offsetting methods, such as managed realignment of saltmarsh habitat, will reduce the impacts of habitat loss at a local scale following the construction of the Tidal Lagoon. The construction of tidal lagoon structures and other marine renewable energy projects is considered important at a national scale in order for the UK to reach its renewable energy targets and reduce the impacts of climate change i.e. habitat loss. Although the construction of tidal lagoons and other renewable energy projects will inevitably result in the loss of habitat it is important to consider the long term positive impacts when performing Environmental Impact Assessments (EIA). Through construction of renewable energy projects, the longer term benefits and larger spatial scale of habitat no longer at risk of impact by climate change could be considered to offset the overall loss of habitat caused during construction of these projects.
Habitat loss, mitigation, climate change, renewables.

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