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Gravel seeding – A suitable technique for restoring the seabed following marine aggregate dredging?
Cooper, K.; Ware, S.; Vanstaen, K.; Barry, J. (2011). Gravel seeding – A suitable technique for restoring the seabed following marine aggregate dredging? Est., Coast. and Shelf Sci. 91(1): 121-132. https://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ecss.2010.10.011
In: Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science. Academic Press: London; New York. ISSN 0272-7714; e-ISSN 1096-0015, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Marine/Coastal
Author keywords
    restorationseabedaggregatedredgingBenthosNorth Sea

Authors  Top 
  • Cooper, K.
  • Ware, S.
  • Vanstaen, K., more
  • Barry, J.

Abstract
    Restoration of offshore marine habitats is a relatively new concept, with attempts in the European Union being largely instigated by requirements of various strategic directives. In this experiment, we investigate the practicality and effectiveness of gravel seeding, using a commercial aggregate dredging vessel, in order to recreate a gravel habitat. The experimental design consisted of a Treatment and Control site, both within an area of historic dredging characterised by an overburden of sand, and a gravel dominated Reference site. All sites were surveyed, using a combination of acoustic, camera and grab techniques, 2 months before, and then at 0, 12 and 22 months after the deposition of 4444 m3 of gravel dominated sediments within the Treatment site. Although financial and practical constraints limited replication of the Treatment to one area, and so precluded strong statistical conclusions, our results suggested that the technique was both practically feasible, and successful in terms of returning the physical and biological attributes at the Treatment site to a state more representative of gravelly substrata in the wider, un-impacted environment.

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