Friday, December 4, 2020

Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust need your support:

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Please remember to help us make the Goodwin Sands a Highly Protected Marine Area!

Dear Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust Supporter,

Firstly, we would like to thank all of you who have responded to the Call for Evidence about the proposed Highly Protected Marine Areas. We really appreciate it as every submission shows that people really care about protecting the Goodwin Sands.

Secondly, if you haven't had the chance to do it yet, this is a gentle reminder that you still have time, as the consultation runs until 15th December 2020.

Please see below for tips on what to say and a link to the Call for Evidence. It really doesn't take long to complete!

The Goodwin Sands MCZ is a prime example of how marine protection just isn’t working; the government’s marine licensing authority granted a licence to remove 3 million tonnes of a protected habitat for landfill in Dover because they were advised by Natural England that the fauna would recover within five years.

This action makes a complete mockery of the meaning of the word ‘protection’. Why is a marine protected area even being subjected to an activity from which is has to recover?

The failure of MCZs' to protect sensitive marine areas has been recognised by the government so they are now considering a new initiative – Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs). Within these HPMA’s, commercial activities that damage the seabed, including marine aggregate extraction, or sand mining as we prefer to call it, will be banned.

Five pilot sites have been proposed for designation as HPMAs and the government has issued a a Call for Evidence to give the public an opportunity to express their opinion.

Goodwin Sands MCZ is not included on this list but we feel very strongly that it should be, since none of the proposed sites are under similar threat from sand mining. Not only has the Goodwin Sands been recognised by Defra as containing habitats and species worthy of protection but the sandbanks provide a vital sea defence for the chronically eroding East Kent foreshore.

And of course, the area is a graveyard of over 2,000 naval and merchant ships, their crews and passengers and contains the graves of scores of brave young airmen from the Battle of Britain. That in itself should make it a prime target for protection.

Indifference is tantamount to agreement! We are therefore urging you to please respond to the government’s Call for Evidence with your views before 15th December 2020.

Like us, you may not be able to provide any relevant information about the currently proposed sites. We have used box number 9 at the end of the online form labelled 'Feedback on the Online Survey' to submit our views and recommend you do the same.

Reasons the Goodwin Sands MCZ should become a pilot HPMA include:
  • Protected habitats are currently under threat from marine aggregate extraction
  • The Sands act as a vital sea defence for the unstable East Kent foreshore
  • The area contains the wrecks of a recorded 2,000 ships spanning 700 years or more - probably the largest maritime graveyard in the world - some say 50,000 souls have drowned there
  • The area holds the graves of scores of British, American, German and Polish airmen from WWII

Thank you for your invaluable help and support!

Respond to the Government's Call for Evidence before 15th December 2020

Visit the Goodwin Sands Conservation Trust website

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