This week the Port of London Authority held a poorly advertised public meeting on Canvey Island.
Consequently very few Canvey residents were in attendance, however there was a strong contingent from the Southend fishing community and environmentalists who expressed serious concern with regard to the effects of the ongoing dredging of the Thames.
Apart from the loss of fisheries there has been a marked deterioration of the foreshore and an increase build up of catchment areas such as sand banks due to sediment movement and removal of surface covering.
The Port of London Authority’s stand point was that they issue licences for dredging having under done a “cause and effect survey” and that there should be reports that reflect any outcomes.
It was asked why these reports were not readily available.
When asked did the PLA actually check up on the outcome by way of post dredging surveys the answer was NO!
The evenings programme was primarily to show how much activity is coming online on the Thames by way of recreational use and more consequentially the increased container and fuel tanker activities at the PLA’s various Terminals.
I tried to emphasis that their comment about the fact that when they championed that water freight reduced the amount of road activity when supplying London helped to improve air quality that this was not accurate.
Locally it actually increased heavy goods vehicle movements alarmingly, on an already over used road network.
The primary response from the PLA remained that Global Trade was of the utmost importance to the country’s economy, beyond any detrimental issues…..!
Cllr Howard mentioned that the Government was spending £308million on the Thames improvement and that Canvey had benefitted from this.
Cllr Howard further asked the PLA “whether the Holehaven Creek was being allowed to silt up”?
The reply was that that was not the case and in fact the area will be eventually the subject of more activity from the Coryton storage site.
This being opposite Canvey’s earth and clay protected section of our sea defence, the potential erosion of which through dredging and water borne freight movement may be of some serious significance to the island’s Flood Risk.
Concerns over foreshore erosion through dredging and shipping movement are an ongoing issue, see HERE.