The Severn Estuary: Sediments, contaminants and biota. Occasional Publication of the Marine Biological Association 19
Langston, W.J. and Chesman, B.S. and Burt, G.R. and Campbell, M. and Manning, A. and Jonas, P.J.C. (2007) The Severn Estuary: Sediments, contaminants and biota. Occasional Publication of the Marine Biological Association 19. Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, Plymouth, (UK).
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The Environment Agency (EA), English Nature (EN, now Natural England) and Countryside Council for Wales (CCW) are currently undertaking investigative work in order to review permissions required under regulation 50 of the Conservation (Natural Habitats &c.) Regulations, 1994. Phase 1 of this exercise was the characterisation of designated European Marine Sites which included the Severn Estuary possible Special Area of Conservation (pSAC), Special Protection Area (SPA) . Objectives were to characterise the site in terms of water quality, and to identify areas where conditions might result in effects on habitats and species for which the site was designated (as a result of discharges or activities). The Phase 1 Site Characterisation report also identified a number of knowledge gaps in terms of predicting and managing contaminant impacts, two major issues being: - the lack of recent data to gauge the impact of the improvements in regulated sources of contamination on the site as a whole, given that routine monitoring of the site reduced significantly after 1997, and - the limited understanding of the fate and behaviour of the contaminant load in the water column, estuarine sediments, and biota. The aim of the current Phase 2 Site Characterisation investigation is to provide a more up-to-date appraisal of these specific issues by reviewing published and unpublished literature and most recent EA sampling data, and to pinpoint the major knowledge gaps regarding: • Transport and fate of sediments • Transport, fate and trends in contaminants • Bioavailability of contaminants • Consequences for biota
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