Conservation of protected species within Natura 2000 and other designated sites.
Topic of the practice
Protecting species of conservation value in European and National designated sites during maintenance dredging works. Adherence to EU and National Legislation.
Good Practice Information
A large proportion of navigable waterways in Ireland and Northern Ireland are located directly within, adjacent, upstream or downstream of designated EU and national conservation sites. Consequently it is imperative that Waterways Ireland ensures biodiversity principles are incorporated into their maintenance plans for the waterways to protect the existing species diversity & the habitats of rare & protected species.To achieve this the organisation undertakes pre-works ecological assessments & implements mitigation measures as necessary to ensure protection of conservation sites. This practice illustrates how the rare species Lamprey,Glutinous Snail,Opposite Leaved Pondweed are protected during maintenance dredging works.Measures have been adopted to mitigate the impact of maintenance dredging operations upon lamprey. These measures have been welcomed by regulatory agencies & the organisation continues to liaise with regulatory authorities regarding the best environmental practice to safeguard lamprey populations.
Bodies and Stakeholders involved are like the Inland Fisheries Ireland or the National Parks&Wildlife Service. Beneficiaries include wildlife enthusiasts, boaters, recreational users, and the general public.Monitoring and assessment of Groenlandia densa amounted to €6,300 and there is an ongoing committment for current and future monitoring of Myxas glutinosa totalling €12,735. This practice is transferable to all EU countries with canals that must meet the objectives of the Habitats Directive.The overall aim of the work outlined here is to enhance amenity use by carrying out necessary maintenance dredging whilst protecting the ecological integrity of the canal network. Undertake site specific ecological evaluations prior to maintenance dredging, where necessary;examine impacts to individual species and habitats; design maintenance practices to ensure protection of species, adding mitigation measures, where necessary; conduct pre and post works assessments; find approaches to ensure and promote the sustainable management of the waterways as viable navigations while protecting the aquatic environment.
Evidence of success
This practice is considered good because it helps to fulfil the requirements of the Habitats Directive by ensuring environmental quality assurance throughout maintenance works by undertaking detailed analysis of the specific environmental challenges involved, pursuing the most effective environmental solutions, and through dialogue with regulatory agencies to guarantee good environmental risk management.The major impact indicator for this practice is the conservation of Annex and rare species (Lampetra sp., Myxas Glutinosa, and Groenlandia densa) in canal & river navigable waterways in Ireland.In addition to providing necessary information to assess proposed maintenance works such as dredging, the environmental assessments commissioned also contribute to the body of ecological knowledge available to ensure the protection of designated sites.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Annex completed on: 03-25-2011