The Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CMACS) Ltd were contracted by Sea scape energy to provide a baseline assessment of the benthic communities of the wind farm and surrounding marine environment so as to undertake monitoring as specified within the FEPA licence awarded to Seascape and identify any impacts to the marine environment which may arise as a result of the wind farms construction. A grab sampling survey was undertaken during October 2005 by CMACS, during the pre-construction phase of the project, to provide information concerning the infaunal benthic populations and the sub-tidal sediment types in and around the development area as part of the 2005 baseline program. Sites were selected so as to sample sediments within the Burbo Bank development area representing different habitats, and up and down drift conditions. Site locations were also selected in the near-field area of the monopile foundations to determine scour effects and within the area affected by sediment transport and deposition. A collection of grab stations was also located along the export cable and at several sites comparatively remote to the wind farm development area, both within and outside the tidal excursion. The latter were selected to assess far field affects and those outside the tidal excursion were selected as controls. In addition to this grab survey a beam trawl survey was also implemented at the same time to allow the provision of data with regard to the epifaunal benthic populations within and around the development area as part of the 2005 baseline program.
Benthic Survey Data