Marine Environmental Baseline Survey and Environmental Impact Assessment of the Paralimni Marina Project

ca 8 months (June 2018 – February 2019)

Subcontracted by:
I.A.CO Ltd

Project Description:
MER was assigned by a private environmental consultancy to implement the collection of bibliographic and field data and write-up of dedicated marine ecological sections in the Environmental Baseline Survey (EBS) and the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) reports for the construction of the Paralimni Marina Project.

Our work was split into two stages:

i) Implementation of the marine environmental baseline survey that included bibliographic and primary data collection

ii) Assessment of impacts on marine ecosystems, flora and fauna from constructing and operating the Paralimni Marina Project and suggestions of mitigation measures.

A bibliographic review was conducted to assess the biodiversity, and particularly the priority habitats and species of the area. In addition, a range of field activities were conducted and data were collected. Among other, priority habitats were mapped using aerial and acoustic devices, targeted point samplings were used to evaluate the abundance and richness of macroscopic species, the ecological status of Posidonia oceanica meadows was assessed, macrofauna samples were analysed and physico-chemical analyses of the water and sediment were conducted (e.g. deployment of CTD Idronaut 316 Plus, collection of water using Van Dorm sampler, analyses of heavy metals, turbidity, TOC, DO, bacteria, and nutrients).

All the results were integrated and reports submitted formed dedicated sections of the EBS and EIA reports submitted to authorities. Summary and conclusions evaluated and highlighted the biodiversity features most likely to be impacted. The impact assessment was based on modelling results, technical specifications of the project and using as a basis the results of the marine EBS. In the context of the EIA we proposed mitigation measures and monitoring protocols.

A short video with underwater footage obtained during our field surveys has been published on our YouTube channel.