In celebration of World Environment Day on Wednesday 5th June, Shoreham Port have launched three new eco-friendly initiatives in their efforts to protect and preserve the local environment. The initiatives follow the Port’s recent recertification of their EcoPort status in April and the appointment of the UK’s first port Director of Infrastructure & Climate Change earlier in the year.
Shoreham Port is a member of the Brighton and Lewes Downs Biosphere Partnership , which is one of only six Biosphere projects in the UK, and the first initiative is a proposal for a new biodiversity corridor along the Port’s seafront. Biodiversity corridors are areas of vegetation that provide shelter, food and protection to wildlife that imitate the structure and diversity of native vegetation. The Brighton & Lewes Downs Biosphere stretches along the Downs around the landward side of the City and the project will aim to help join the two seaward ends of the biosphere together along the coast on the seaward side of the City. The corridor will be gradually created through a policy of including wildlife planting sites on all of Shoreham Port’s new development sites, and by identifying and nurturing wildlife planting on all other sites that could contribute to local biodiversity.
Secondly, Shoreham Port plan to extend tree planting all the way along the northern edge of the Port from Southwick to Hove Lagoon. This initiative is inspired by Shoreham Society’s own tree planting scheme, Shoreham-by-Tree, which is to be launched on 14th September during Nationwide Heritage Week, in conjunction with other community groups.
The last of Shoreham Port’s three new environmental initiatives is a trial installation of Seabins in the Port’s Lady Bee and Nicholson’s Marinas. Produced by Poralu Marine, the bins are floating trash collectors that create a small whirlpool to draw in litter and debris from the surface of the water, catching it into a recycled bag so that the waste can be disposed of responsibly. Each Seabin has the capacity to catch half a tonne of debris annually, including surface oil, pollutants, and small plastic particles known as micro plastics, all of which can be very damaging to wildlife such as the birds that frequent Shoreham Port.
The regular checking and emptying of the bins will be incorporated into the Port’s existing marine maintenance routine, with Marine staff regularly checking the Port’s Canal to ensure that it is clean. The Port also plan to invite local schools to take part in collecting the rubbish, under careful supervision, to learn about the environmental impact of plastics and single use plastics on marine wildlife.
Tony Parker, Director of Infrastructure and Climate Change commented “We hope that the biodiversity corridor and Shoreham Harbour can be the start of helping to bring the Brighton and Lewes South Downs Biosphere into the city. The Seabins initiative is a great way to continue to keep our marinas clean and to further protect our water-based wildlife such as swans, ducks and fish.”