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New beach cleaning operations procedures issued by the ERA

New procedures were issued by the Environment and Resources Authority, to minimise unduly impact to the ecology of environmentally-sensitive beaches

amy_micallef_decesare
Amy Micallef Decesare
18 October 2017, 2:25pm
(Photo: the Environment and Resources Authority)
(Photo: the Environment and Resources Authority)
New beach cleaning operating procedures have been issued by the Environment and Resources Authority (ERA), for environmentally sensitive beaches.

Such procedures were launched to guide site managers and beach cleaners on a number of operations, so that they do not “unduly impact the ecology of the beach”.

These procedures, they said, will facilitate the environmental permitting procedure, which is already in place.

The document covered several issues, including ecological, operational and waste management considerations and was designed to capture requirements, related to both nature and waste, in one single section, to facilitate the process for applicants.

The document aimed to “attain as near a balance as possible between keeping beaches clean for the enjoyment of the general public and protecting the ecology of these environmentally sensitive beaches”, said the ERA.

The company went on to emphasise how accumulated litter and “human debris” on the shore poses a threat to both humans and animals if left unmanaged and therefore, the cleaning of beaches is an “important tool for visitor management and amenity”.

They added that “insensitive or incautious” cleaning methodologies could be detrimental to the environmental characteristics of the beaches.

The ERA stressed the “major environmental role” played by Posidonia oceanica, a species of sea grass, which provides food and habitat for a variety of species, even when washed ashore.

Posidonia oceanica should therefore, as a rule, be left in place for as long as possible”, they said, “so as to maintain a healthy sand budget”. 

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