The Littlehampton Harbour Board (LHB), the Statutory Harbour Authority (SHA) for Littlehampton Harbour, first compiled a Maintenance Dredge Baseline document in 2016 in support of the Maintenance Dredge Protocol with the intention to reissue approximately 5 yearly. The aim of the protocol is to collate relevant information into a Baseline Document to assist operators and regulators seeking, or giving approval, for maintenance dredging activities that could potentially affect European designated sites. In the case of Littlehampton this policy has been applied to nationally protected environmental sites – namely the adjacent Climping Beach Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and Local Nature Reserve (LNR) and the newly established Marine Conservation Zone (MCZ) at Kingmere Rocks 3 nautical mile (nm) offshore. This Baseline Document provides information to:
“Provide all parties wishing to carry out maintenance dredging within the harbour area with the relevant baseline information; and provide the information needed to inform the preparation of Water Framework Directive (WFD) compliance assessments in accordance with the Environment Agency’s ‘Clearing the Waters’ guidance.”
This Baseline Document concludes that the present maintenance dredging practices are sustainable and not having an adverse effect on the features of the SSSI, the estuary of the River Arun or the adjacent MCZ.