Reprieve for Wetland Wildlife on the Mersey Estuary
The Wildlife Trust for Lancashire, Manchester and North Merseyside report that they and other "conservation charities have raised serious concerns over the proposal for a tidal barrage due to the potential impact on thousands of birds and newly established populations of migratory fish. The Feasibility Study Report issued by Peel Energy Ltd found that the estimated £3.5bn initial construction costs were ‘not competitive’ in current markets.
"The announcement comes after plans were also dropped for a larger £20bn tidal energy generation scheme on the Severn estuary less than a year ago.
"The Mersey estuary is designated as a European Special Protection Area (SPA) and is a critical autumn migration and winter refuge for up to 70,000 birds. Following water quality improvements in the last 20 years, the estuary is now also home to migratory salmon and acts as a nursery for other fish species."
Like the Wildlife Trust, the RSPB, and many other organisations who are keen to see a commitment to renewable energy OF THE RIGHT SORT and IN THE RIGHT PLACE, we have highlighted the unsustainable nature of tidal barrages - in terms of the impact on delicate intertidal ecosystems and the wildlife that depend upon them in particular - but also in terms of economic cost and the very real threat of increased floodrisk to vulnerable communities.
The Mersey proposal, like the much larger barrage proposed for the Severn, has been suspended because of the unsustainable initial construction costs of the scheme, and you can read more on this story on the Wildlife Trust's website.