Petition Immediate cessation of dredging operations off the Gower coast pending evaluation of adverse effects

Subsequent to the start of dredging operations in Rhossili Bay, there has been a substantial and severe depletion of sand on the adjacent Rhossili beach. This internationally-important area includes associated dune systems which will also be adversely affected by sand depletion. We call on the Welsh Government to effect an immediate cessation of dredging operations pending a scientific review of the sand depletion and its possible causes in order to avoid permanent damage and habitat loss.

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Anecdotal evidence shows that despite relatively benign weather conditions over the summer 2020 season thus far, sand levels at Rhossili beach have suffered severe depletion. There also appears to be significantly increased numbers of mollusc shell remains (cockle, mussel, razor clam, oyster, etc.) as well as a vast increase in numbers of starfish casualties. With the impending autumn and winter storm season, the situation may become catastrophic for the extremely fragile ecosystems which depend on the presence of natural sand deposits. Whilst it may be coincidental that dredging operations have occurred at the same time as unusually high sand depletion at Rhossili, it is vital that dredging operations are put on immediate hold in order that an official scientific study has the opportunity to evaluate probable causes.

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