A report circulated by Gareth Williams, Chichester Harbour Catchment Manager and Catchment Management Team Leader, Solent and South Downs Area
As a result of a range of nutrient reduction measures introduced at Wastewater Treatment Works (WwTW) and through changes in agricultural practice over the last 20 years, we are now seeing a reduction in the amount of macroalgae in the estuaries and harbours of the Solent at a waterbody scale. At a feature scale we are still seeing impacts of nutrients on the designated features as described in Natural England’s condition assessments, so we recognise there is still much more to do. The report, however provides hope for the future of the Solent and its harbours by demonstrating that investment in nutrient reduction measures can, with time, result in positive changes for the environment.
Groups such as the Harbours Summit, CHaPRoN, Solent Forum, Sussex Marine and Coastal Forum and the Solent Seascape Project present an opportunity to direct more funding and action to support further improvements in the Solent environment to increase resilience and aid nature recovery across its designated sites.
The Environment Agency and Natural England will continue to work together with our partners to achieve this recovery. We hope this report gives us all the confidence and reassurance that we can make a difference now and in the future.