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Abandoned boats project targets Dee Estuary

19 Nov 2023 2 minute read
Abandoned boats in the Dee Estuary

Boat owners in the Dee Estuary are being encouraged to engage with an initiative to tackle the problem of abandoned derelict vessels which could release harmful pollutants into the environment.

Derelict and abandoned boats around the Welsh coast have caused extensive problems in marine protected areas, releasing microplastics and pollutants from oil, diesel and anti-fouling paint, and loss of habitat.

Experts working on the Marine Litter and Derelict Vessel Prevention Project, part of the Welsh Government-funded Nature Networks programme, have identified the Dee Estuary in north Wales as the first area to focus on.

The Natural Resources Wales-led project was launched in 2022 and subsequently the project team have identified and mapped the locations around Wales where problem vessels are concentrated, as well as cataloguing them.

Boat disposal

With the project now in its second year, it is hoped that in conjunction with partners and members of the local community, removal of identified derelict boats in the Dee Estuary will commence.

The project will also produce guidance around boat disposal and will work on the prevention of boat abandonment and marine litter.

Invitation to stakeholders: Drop-in session on November 20

Joanna Soanes, Project Manager said: “Ensuring that boats are disposed of appropriately when they approach their end-of-their life requires a holistic approach.

“We hope this project will help develop a ‘whole-of-life’ vessel management strategy to deliver environmental and social benefits for the future.

The Marine Litter and Derelict Vessel Prevention Project forms part of the three-year Nature Networks programme funded by the Welsh Government.

The programme was set up to address the nature emergency in Wales by increasing biodiversity, improving the condition of protected sites and enhancing the resilience and connectivity of habitats and species.

Ahead of any work at the Dee Estuary, the project team have arranged a drop in-session on 20 November for all boat owners who keep their vessels in the Greenfield dock, ‘The Holy’ in Bagillt or in Connah’s Quay to learn more about the project and to collaborate.

The drop-in session will take place at 3pm on November 20 2023 at the Old School Hall in Greenfield Valley Heritage Park.

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