Today the States’ Environment Department have stated furrowing will not work to help alleviate the sea lettuce problem, so the project will not continue. It appears, however, they will carry on with the ‘dumping at sea’ project. Save Our Shoreline Jersey (SOS Jersey) are not surprised at this outcome, as we had predicted this from the outset. Here are some points and questions.
- SOS Jersey have been accused by Environment/DoI of being unscientific in our studies on water quality in St
Aubin’s Bay. (In fact, we quoted States’ data which we finally received after an FOI.) Given these accusations, we wonder why the Department can conduct an unscientific study and then claim it would not work?
- SOSJ, with the help of marine expert Tony Legg, provided a possible pro-tem solution to the sea lettuce problem, which was based on previous, proven studies. However, the furrows done by Environment were done in the wrong place, at the wrong time and in the wrong way:
- The furrows were further up the beach than they should have been
- The furrows were to the south-west of the important area, and thus in an area of deposition, not erosion; in addition, the sand and species profile is different in both locations
- Neither Tony Legg nor SOSJ were informed by Environment of the trial (but concerned members of the public alerted us)
- Had Tony Legg been invited down, he would have told them the furrows were being dug incorrectly (which caused a few problems in making them), and would have reiterated what we had said: the furrows were being made in the wrong place at the wrong time and did not constitute a fair or accurate trial
- Despite being set up to fail, the furrows are still visible now! They are shallow, but definitely still there; that is, they have not totally disappeared.
- We have not been privy to any of the data collected by Environment and the Société for this trial, so have had to reply on our own photographs and measurements of water flow. We see the furrows are still there and saw that weed was being discharged during rip conditions – there is video evidence of this.
- One of the people overseeing the trial said to Jacqui Carrel (SOSJ’s environmental scientist) that it was a waste of time and would not work: this is before the furrowing was even half way through and despite studies elsewhere showing it can be effective.
- Where is the evidence showing that the trial didn’t work? Are the study data in the public domain?
- On the other hand, we hear the idea of taking the sea lettuce out to sea and dumping it is working well. We ask:
- How much is being shifted at a time? (We hear the figure c60 tonnes, which is nothing compared to what is needed)
- How much sand was collected in with the sea lettuce (it looks a lot in the pictures), and what effect would that have on the beach environment?
- How many craft will be needed and how often and at what cost?
- What data are there to show the sea lettuce remains out to sea? How is this being tracked?
- We assume safety measures are in place for the driver/operator of the Manitou who is pushing the sea lettuce off the craft?
SOS Jersey, 06 July 2017