Title: Monitoring Programme for the Paralimni Marina Construction Stage
~3 years (May 2022 – January 2025)
Following the completion of the Paralimni marina Environmental Impact Assessment (see previous EIA project), MER recommended monitoring guidelines to evaluate the project effects in the marine environment, ensuring that unforeseen, significant and adverse environmental impacts are identified and mitigated. The guidelines were adopted by the Authorities and MER has been subcontracted to conduct the monitoring for the whole duration of the marina construction.
The monitoring plan focuses on two (2) categories, namely (i) physiochemical parameters in water and sediment, and (ii) biodiversity and habitats.
For the physiochemical parameters, a current meter along with two turbidity sensors will be installed near the construction area tο provide information about the predominant currents and turbidity levels that will prevail prior and during the construction period. The control of turbidity levels is important in construction projects that include dredging and other processes that tend to resuspend sediments in the water column affecting ecosystem processes, and especially filter and suspension feeders. Turbidity sensors will be deployed in priority sites; i.e., in one Marine Protected Area with artificial reefs and at a natural site at the southernmost point where a few alive vermetids were found. Furthermore, six sediment traps will be installed strategically around the construction site to monitor the sediment deposition.
In addition to the instruments deployed, sediment and water will be collected on a frequent basis (monthly or weekly if construction causes resuscitation of sediment) and numerous chemical parameters will be analysed.
Biodiversity and habitat
Key biotic parameters will be monitored to assess the impact on the biodiversity and habitat including:
- Posidonia oceanica meadows monitoring: Four permanent quadrats in four stations will be placed and monitored to assess the ecological status of the meadows at four locations near the marina.
- Macroalgae community monitoring: Twenty permanent quadrats will be placed at the shallow zone; species coverage will be estimated in appropriate software.
- Benthic macrofauna communities monitoring plan: Sediment samples will be collected on an annual basis, with a van Veen grab. Further, macrofauna species will be identified to assess the ecological status.
- Vermetids monitoring: the presence of vermetids will be mapped and the percentage of dead and living gastropods will be recorded from a large coastline on a seasonal basis.