Jacqui is in today’s JEP (p6, Fri 17 Feb 2017) giving our thoughts on using boats to take the sea lettuce piles out to sea. While the JEP gives accurate quotes, they aren’t assigned to right bits in all cases! To clarify, here is what we think on the issue:
1. Why wasn’t this trialled several years ago?
2. Nonetheless, we are pleased to see something being done.
3. By itself, it will be a sticking-plaster approach; just adding on the furrows (see below) won’t be enough.
4. As we understand it. the initial vessels will be ordinary boats: bottom-opening barges would be used only if the dumped sea lettuce (which will contain sand) will sink.
5. We are pleased the DoI (TTS) are giving to consideration to the idea we took to them of making shallow, wide furrows (at specific locations) in the spring with the idea of increasing runoff so sea lettuce spores can’t take a hold.
5. Initially we thought the sea lettuce would be dredged and then taken out to sea, but it appears it will be collected when the tide is out and loaded. Here we have the problem of habitats being adversely affected. In addition, some areas (sea grass and stony areas) cannot be touched, so sea lettuce not fully be taken away.
6. How many boats will be needed to keep up? Will the tide sizes matter?
7. We are glad the DoI aren’t blaming the whole problem on the French (though they still claim 80% of the Bay’s nitrates come from out of the Island) and are now acknowledging much of the problem is home-grown.
8. It will take a few years to get the new sewage treatment works up and running; it should be a big help, but we need to be acting on taking nitrates out of our soil from NOW.
9. We are really pleased the new Water and Rural directives are starting to address nitrate issues, but we don’t think they are going far enough quickly enough.
10. On the whole, we believe DoI are moving in the right direction.