Update on March 20, 2013
WHAT ARE THE EFFECTS OF DREDGING ON MARINE LIFE? Dredging will create a disturbance on the natural marine ecosystems at James Price Point and all over the Dampier Peninsula. It will also create many adverse impacts. In addition, dredge spoils will contain toxic chemicals, that will have adverse effects on disposal grounds, just off the coast of the Dampier Peninsula. The process of dredging often dislodges chemicals sequestered in benthic substrates and injects them into the water column. Dredging can create the following impacts to the environment:
- Release of toxic chemicals (including heavy metals and PCB) from bottom sediments into the water column.
- Short term increases in turbidity (the life of the port facility), which can effect marine species metabolism and interfere with spawning (lead-lag effect)
- Secondary effects from water column contamination of heavy metals, DDT and other persistant organic toxins (e.g. dinoflagellates/ciguatera), via food chain uptake and subsequent concentrations of these toxins in higher organisms and humans
- Secondary impacts to seagrass beds from sedimentation
- Tertiary impacts to birdlife which may prey upon contaminated marine organisms
- Secondary impacts to marine benthic organisms' metabolisms and mortality
- Possible contamination of dredge spoil sites (dredge spoil sites are quite often in danger of becoming re-suspended due to foul weather conditions)
photo above: SeaShepherd protecting whale nursery and migration routes
photo at top: living the dream, fishing Willie Creek, south of James Price Point, famous for the beautiful Broome pearl
RESEARCH by the Australian Institute of Marine Science has discovered that proposed dredging works along the WA coast could severely impact certain coral species found in local waters. Scientists from the Institute along with the Australian Research Centre of Excellence conducted laboratory tests to develop lethal and sub-lethal benchmarks for coral exposed to dredging-generated sediments related to offshore developments. The researchers tested two species of coral found in offshore locations to six levels of total suspended solids for 16 weeks, including a four week recovery period. Please read Offshore dredging severely impacts coral reefs. This is a very important link. A lot of Woodside's technical data to support their ability to predict the effects of dredging at James Price Point is based on data that is incomplete, logistically incorrect (mortality models for coral) with sampling and samples not taken from the area and sedimentation models based on natural processes. Obviously sedimentation from dredging is not a natural process. Values and constants made up and based on any other process is just that - a made up value. It's not real, not relevant and not science!
Please urgently keep signing and share! Please help make this go viral.