In June 2019, the Environment Agency and Natural England began a project on boating and water quality in the Solent, Sussex and Poole Harbour. Its aim was to look at ways to to change recreational boating behaviour, and improve waste disposal facilities to reduce the risk of pollution from discharges of ‘black water’. It is important to tackle the sources of bacterial contamination as it can put peoples’ health at risk, and effect local communities and the economy, when any one of the Solent's 22 bathing beaches or 18 shellfish harvesting areas are impacted. The project has now hosted two workshops and the outputs can be viewed below. The Solent Forum is assisting with the project delivery and publicity.
There is a great deal of enthusiasm to contine to work together as a ‘Community of Practice’ and keep the momentum going to improve water quality from recreational boating related activities in the Solent & Poole Harbour area. A second workshop, a virtual event, was held in October 2020 where we shared some of the great initiatives that have been taken forward, and collated information that will help us make the steps towards achieving the changes needed.