Goodwin Sands rMCZ campaign against aggregate dredging receives huge public support

On 20th July 2016 when the Marine Management Organisation’s (MMO) public consultation closed in respect of the Dover Harbour Board’s application to dredge 2.5 million m3 from the South Goodwin Sands the petition being run by Save Our Sands had reached over 9,000 signatures. The petition is still open.

The Dover Harbour Board (DHB) application relates to a proposed scheme to develop its Western Dock, and DHB claims that the Goodwin Sands is the most cost-effective source for the sand which it needs.

The Goodwin Sands is the site of many shipwrecks over the centuries, reliable sources put the figure at over 1000, and is the site of a significant number of unidentified military aeroplanes which came down off the coast during World War II. Protection of the shipwrecks is governed by the Protection of Wrecks Act 1973, and the crashed military aircraft by the Protection of the Military Remains Act 1986 which classifies such crash sites as war graves.

Goodwin Sands is also a recommended Marine Conservation Zone (rMCZ) and is currently being considered by Defra as a candidate for designation in the next block of MCZMCZ Marine Conservation Zone designations. Apart from a number of important marine habitats, the Goodwins also hosts long-term populations of grey and harbour seals.

Marinet has made a submission to the MMO setting out the reasons why an aggregate dredging licence should not be granted at this site, and also explaining how the Dover Harbour Board can source its needs for construction sand from elsewhere.

Footnote: If you would like to read the Defra assessment of the MCZ features in the Goodwin Sands rMCZ, see

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