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Dredging strategy for Port of London

A new publication sets out the current approach to maintenance dredging in the Port of London area. Published by the Port of London Authority (PLA) in co-operation with the Thames Estuary Partnership, the document sets out the strategic decision-making framework for such activities.

As with many navigable waterways, maintenance dredging is regularly carried out in the tidal Thames. This is to maintain safe operational water depths for navigation and to ensure continued access to many of the 70 plus berths, docks, wharves, and jetties that make up the Port of London.

These dredging operations need to strike an appropriate balance between long-term protection of the environment and achieving sustainable economic growth. In addition to following best environmental practice, there is also the need for compliance with environmental legislation including EU Directives.

The 26-page A5 booklet describes the regulatory framework for maintenance dredging within the Port of London and explores the way the PLA and the Thames Estuary Partnership have worked together to prepare a Maintenance Dredging Framework to provide a decision making process for the licensing of third party dredging and approval of PLA dredging operations.

Areas discussed in the publication include:

  • the setting up of a ‘Dredging Liaison Group’ with other regulators, operators and key stakeholders
  • guidance to berth owners and operators
  • the development of the tidal Thames ‘Information Exchange System’ (IES) – a data management system for environmental information

Commenting, PLA environmental scientist, Nicola Clay said:

“This booklet explores the way that the environment and the need for sustainable development are taken into account in the modern Port of London. Activities increasingly need to be conducted transparently to ensure both sustainable economic development and high environmental standards.”

Jenny Stratford, from the Thames Estuary Partnership said:

We have welcomed the PLA's partnership approach to maintenance dredging and their consideration of other inhabitants and users of the estuary. The Maintenance Dredging Framework demonstrates the benefits of working together and exchanging information to ensure sustainable management of the Thames."

Copies of ‘Maintenance Dredging in the Port of London’ are available free from: Martin Garside, PLA, Bakers Hall, 7 Harp Lane, EC3R 6LB. Tel: 020 7743 7915. Email: pressoffice@pla.co.uk

Note to Editors:

The Port of London Authority is the port authority for 150km (95 miles) of the tidal Thames from the sea to Teddington. It provides navigational, pilotage and other services for ships using the Port of London. London is one of the top three ports in the UK and handles over 50 million tonnes of cargo each year. The Port of London comprises over 70 independently owned and operated terminals and port facilities, which handle a wide range of cargoes.