29 November 2013
Improving the water quality, minimising the impact of sea lettuce, and maintaining a healthy recreational and commercial fishery are among the aims of a recent visioning workshop on St Aubin’s Bay.
The event was organised by the Environmental Protection team at the Department of the Environment. The team asked users of St Aubin’s Bay how they would like to see the Bay in 2025 and what measures are needed to achieve this.
A number of different factors affect the quality of water in St Aubin, including drainage from the town area and the countryside, the discharge of treated waste water from Bellozanne and harbour activities. Because of this, the ecology, character and the health of users of St Aubin’s Bay needs to be protected and the workshop looked at how best to do this.
Environmental Protection is focusing on water quality in the bay now because regulations, standards and the approach to protecting waters are continuing to develop both in Jersey and throughout Europe. The increase in frequency and severity of storm events and the impact from run off from land, and the need to replace the waste water treatment works at Bellozanne are factors which are high on the agenda of the section in its remit to protect water quality in the bay.
Attendees represented a wide range of activities, organisations and States departments that included water sports clubs fishermen, beach users, tourism, and harbours.
Director of Environmental Protection, Dr Tim Du Feu said: “The bay is popular all year round and a much used area for leisure and work, so we knew many people would have an interest in what goes on there with regard to water quality. We also know there are some changes ahead, so we were keen to listen to and involve people and find out more about what they value and what should be protected and use their insight in our future plans.”
Attendees looked at current activities in the bay, what makes it special, what works, and what could be addressed in the future, and then developed a list of objectives that will help Environmental Protection plan its future work regarding water quality monitoring and regulation. These are:
• St Aubin’s Bay is recognised as a ‘go to destination’ for locals and tourists
• Thriving and sustainable recreation and business use
• Good water quality that is monitored, which conforms to environmental standards and is safe for bathing and recreation
• Improved water quality due to better quality effluent from wastewater (sewage) treatment and cleaner run-off from land
• Understanding of the cause of sea lettuce and ensuring its minimal nuisance
• Diversity of marine and bird life with extensive sea grass beds
• Managed and healthy recreational and commercial fishery
• A bay that is managed through liaison between the States and the public working together and the enforcement of laws
• Water quality, wildlife, cultural and environmental information that is accessible to all.
The workshop will provide useful information to help Environmental Protection with its ongoing work and development of an Integrated Water Management Plan for Jersey (using an approach supported by the Environment Scrutiny Panel during its review on Protecting the Marine Environment).