Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has selected ABPmer to provide guidance on marine and coastal physical processes Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) baseline survey and post-consent monitoring requirements for major marine development projects relevant to Welsh waters.
The guidance, which will be available once it goes through the development process, will directly be used by NRW and will be shared with developers and stakeholders to help inform about data collection and monitoring requirements, ABPmer said.
“The guidance document prepared by our in-house geomorphology, modelling and dredging specialists, reviews and synthesizes published guidance relevant to marine physical processes EIA and draws on their experience to outline potential changes posed by marine developments," Heidi Roberts, Head of Physical Processes at ABPmer, said.
"It also sets out the likely data requirements for EIA baseline characterisation and good practice for baseline survey design and post-consent monitoring,”
Although a vast literature exists, there is no single document that brings together best practice guidance on baseline survey and monitoring design, data acquisition techniques, and standards in terms of data quality and coverage for marine and coastal physical processes assessments, the UK-based marine consultancy said.
According to ABPmer, major marine developments, such as offshore wind farms or port expansions, have the potential to cause changes to sediment transport, hydrodynamics and morphology, so to understand the nature of such changes it is essential that marine and coastal physical processes near the development are well understood.
The understanding is usually achieved through the analysis of new and existing field data combined with existing studies, which are complemented through numerical modeling and other assessment methods, the company said.