Save The Ribble are delighted about the news that the Ribble Coast and Wetlands Regional Park is to go ahead.
This development, which is safe, sustainable and environmentally sound will attract visitors from all over the country to enjoy the beauty of the Ribble's estuary and Wetlands, admire it's rich and diverse wildlife, including it's 250000 wild birds and be able to walk and cycle in the area.
This development taps the true economic potential of the Ribble: particularly for wildlife tourism and will be a huge asset not just to Preston and South Ribble, but to the whole of the North West.
Ribble saltmarsh at Marshside
Of course, if the Council and the Preston Vision Board were to get their way, and build a barrage across the Ribble, much of the potential of this park could be destroyed. The wildlife of the Estuary and Wetlands that this park will be built on depend on the free flow of silts down the river for their habitats, a flow of silts which a barrage would prevent - in a similar way to which the Glen Canyon barrage at the Grand Canyon has stopped the flow of silts and destroyed a precious ecosystem - here is what the barrage did there:
Ninety-five percent of Grand Canyon's sediment and nutrients are trapped behind Glen Canyon Dam. Organic materials mixed into this sediment used to provide the fertilizer for the river ecosystem's health. Instead, the Colorado River in Grand Canyon now runs clear and cold, allowing the green alga cladophora to grow and replace the natural warm-water food web. The absence of replenishing sediment is also causing critical beach and sandbar habitat to disappear, and undermining the stability of archaeological sites sacred to the Canyon's native peoples.
Other NewsOur revelation of the identities of members of the Preston Vision Board as being property developers and companies that make their money by building marinas has provoked a lively debate at the Preston Lancs Forum click on the link to have a look.
Rivers At RiskThe WWF have released a list of the worlds top 10 rivers at risk, the main threats to rivers being climate change, pollution and dams, the Danube for example:
Dams along the Danube River — one of the longest flowing rivers in Europe — have already destroyed 80 per cent of the river basin’s wetlands and floodplains.
Lets not let this happen to the Ribble!
The WWF say
wetlands are economically valuable biomes that provide goods and services upon which many communities and economies depend. Recognizing the economic importance of wetlands in addition to their biodiversity, scientific value, climate regulation, potential tourism, socio-cultural and other important wetland values is yet another good reason to reverse global wetland loss.
They also say:
Dams disconnect rivers from their floodplains and wetlands. The damage to freshwater ecosystems can be devastating. They impact on the migratory patterns of fish, and flood riparian habitats, such as waterfalls, rapids, riverbanks and wetlands.
By slowing the movement of water, dams prevent the natural downstream movement of sediment to deltas, estuaries, flooded forests, wetlands, and inland seas, affecting species composition and productivity.
Dam operations also influence water quality. Water and sediment retention affect water quality and the waste processing capacity of rivers (the ability to break down organic pollutants). This could lead to production of toxic hydrogen sulphide gas that further degrades water quality.
This is why it is so important that we do not endanger the Ribble's ecosystem by allowing any kind of dam, barrage, weir or barrier to be built, merely for the sake of a 'Water Sports Park'.
You can read more about the Ribble Coast & Wetlands on our sister blog, The Ribble Cycle Diaries.