Beneficial Use of Dredging in the Solent Project (BUDS)
There has been a strong desire amongst Solent Forum members to find solutions to the many barriers which are preventing the effective use of dredged material to augment Solent intertidal sites and, hence, to provide other benefits associated with such restoration work (especially enhanced coastal protection). The Forum’s role will be to manage the project and facilitate future communications. For more detailed information please download the BUDS Terms of Reference.
Project Aims and Benefits
The Solent Forum now seeks to build on past work and lead on the development of a proposal that will:
'Bring about beneficial use of dredging within one or more Solent sites, using an incrementally phased approach to scope and cost sediment sourcing and sediment receiver sites, building a system of protocols and guidance.'
More specifically the project will aim to:
- Identify a set of criteria to help assess the suitability of the sites (including type of material, volume of sediment, accessibility of site, potential partnership funding, value of the site as habitat or flood and coastal management, other engineering challenges)
- Identify project site(s) using the above criteria within the Solent where beneficial use would be most practical and beneficial, providing a high level of cost benefit analysis, aligning costs and benefits to regulatory bodies
- Work in partnership with a range of regional stakeholders to find solutions to known challenges based on their knowledge and existing shoreline strategies. To especially examine regulatory barriers to include smothering of existing habitat and contaminated waste concerns
- Develop a strong feasibility case for undertaking significant ‘regional flagship’ beneficial use project(s) in the Solent, and enable the implementation of that project through further phases.
- Develop a love mapping system so that receiver sites can call for sediment.
- Ensure that there is a collaborative exchange of lessons between the regional work of the Solent Forum and other initiatives being undertaken at a national level by parties such as the RSPB, MMO, ABPmer or The Crown Estate. Specifically to ensure that the work leads to systems (such as the love mapping system) that can be replicated and that protocols and guidance are developed.
This work should build on a wealth of information much of which relates to the Solent including amongst others work from the River Hamble Harbour Authority, the University of Southampton and Lymington Harbour. It is important that the work does not replicate previous work and that the budget is used to further the delivery of beneficial use projects.
It will only be possible to make real advances in the Solent if the benefits of the re-use of dredging material is really understood and costed, and these benefits are aligned to objectives of regulatory bodies and coastal managers.
The project comprises three phases. Download the project brief.
Phase 1 - Project Scoping and Partnership Working – COMPLETE
Phase 1 of the project was conducted by ABPmer. This phase included a Stakeholder Workshop. The main areas of work included:
- Literature review of previous Solent work, issues, challenges and constraints, including understanding of national context and drawing upon past review work.
- High level review of beneficial use projects in Solent. Some detail required on criteria for assessment, and how to measure efficacy, using best practice and lessons learnt of projects elsewhere.
- Create a high level strategic GIS planning map of Solent dredge locations and disposal sites and areas of potential value for recharge work.
- Building a stakeholder network for the exchange of information (the project group is the core). Survey relevant Solent Authorities and stakeholder network for potential donor material and receiver sites.
- High-level feasibility study including cost benefit analysis and costing of proposals to undertake beneficial use project (highlighting the range of beneficiaries).
Phase 2 – Feasibility and Stakeholder Working – ONGOING
Feasibility Study and Detailed Cost Benefit
Develop options for the Solent for a project(s) for beneficial use within a set time period and for preferred options to develop full feasibility plans for actual use of dredging at some key sites. Key site selected: Western Solent and Lymington Marshes. To consider whether a scheme may be a one off or one that can be repeated. This study would detail exact timings and costs of sources of sediment to match with receiver site needs. It would identify funding sources for complete projects. The beneficial costs will be firmed up so as to fully calculate cost benefit. Licences and permissions to be fully scoped ready to obtain. EIAs conducted.
- Updated detailed cost benefit analysis required as well as technical analysis of recharge techniques and efficacy.
- Consider Replicability – buying in the necessary kit for all sites. Benefits of scale. Pump, monitoring system.
ABPmer contracted for this work.
The Phase 2 report was published in February 2020.
This will involve working with stakeholders to develop strategic guidance and a protocol. It will be led by the Solent Forum building on from Phase 1 work, using workshops and stakeholder meetings. Specifically it will:
- Explore funding for phase 3 and develop tender material.
- Develop and understand lessons learned on maintenance dredge and disposal licensing. This could lead to a protocol and guidance.
- To feedback the mapping of Solent dredge locations and disposal sites and areas of potential value for recharge work to national players. To provide detailed matching analysis.
In order to launch Phase 3, an Expressions of Interest Brief was sent to the BUDS technical group and five potential contractors. A positive response was received from all the contractors and the Technical Group. The Technical Group met on 22nd July 2020 and agreed the phase 3 approach. A funding bid is currently being developed.