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2015, Envision Mapping, Zone 6 Rampion, Dropdown Video Surveys

2015, Envision Mapping, Zone 6 Rampion, Dropdown Video Surveys

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Benthic Ecology

Description

The purpose of these reports and datasets is to provide information on the potential areas of Annex I reef (as defined under Annex I of the EU Habitats Directive CEC, 2007) located within Boulder Clearance Sector 1 within the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Site and cable corridor.
     Previous geophysical and benthic surveys undertaken at the Rampion development area have identified areas of potential Annex I reef. The baseline survey undertaken by EMU in 2011 (EMU Ltd., 2012) highlighted potential areas of reef, however some of these were noted to be little more than areas of mixed hard substrata. Additional geophysical data collected in 2013 and 2015 as part of the pre-construction work for the site. This data was analysed by Envision Mapping in order to provide sampling station locations for a pre-construction benthic survey (required as part of the deemed Marine Licence(s) conditions of the Rampion Offshore Wind Farm Order 2014). As a result of this geophysical (sidescan sonar and multibeam bathymetry) data interpretation, drop down video (DDV) sampling stations were incorporated into the benthic sampling regime. These were placed in areas identified as potential Annex I habitat or other environmental features of potential conservation interest, and were representative throughout the area (Envision Mapping Ltd., 2015). The DDV surveys were undertaken between 19th and 25th September 2015.
     A Marine Licence (L/2015/00327/1) was recently issued to enable boulder clearance to take place at the site and this licence included a condition which stated that no boulder clearance could take place in areas of potential Annex I reef, as identified as mixed hard substrata in the 2011 baseline surveys (Emu Ltd., 2012). In order to ensure that the conditions of this licence were not breached and to inform where boulder clearance could take place, the DDV data obtained as part of the pre-construction benthic survey was analysed for evidence of Annex I reef in the areas of boulder clearance. It should be noted that this DDV survey was based on more recent geophysical data (2013 and 2015), hence the locations of potential Annex I reef did not align exactly to those identified from the 2011 EMU surveys.

Dataset

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Locations for Annex 1

Annex 1 Reef Areas

Report

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Sectors 1, 3, 5 and 6 Dropdown Video Annex 1 Technical Reports

Implications to Potential Annex I Reef from Proposed Construction Activities Report (Natural Power, 2015)