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Two year seabird survey programme completion at E.ON’s Humber Gateway offshore wind farm


Gardline Environmental Ltd’s (GEL’s) Marine Wildlife Department (MWD) conducted the final construction phase seabird survey for the Humber Gateway offshore wind farm recently. The last survey completed a two year survey programme that commenced in April 2013.


GEL worked closely with E.ON environmental consultants and a number of government agencies to design an effective construction monitoring programme. The programme included mitigation measures that ensured that there was little to no impact on the marine and coastal environment around the offshore wind farm. The wind farm is located 8km off the East Yorkshire coast and will have 73 turbines, with a capacity of 219MW.


OVER LAND AND SEA


The MWD has conducted both boat-based surveys at the wind farm location and land based point count surveys for little terns near the wind farm site. The boat-based surveys have been carried out monthly on board the M.V. Scotia W by GEL’s JNCC accredited European Seabirds At Sea (ESAS) surveyors, following ESAS survey methods. GEL has worked in conjunction with the Spurn Bird Observatory for the point count surveys and the British Trust for Ornithology for data analysis throughout the project.


MARINE MAMMAL MITIGATION The MWD also carried out marine mammal mitigation during construction piling for the project. This was undertaken in conjunction with the two piling phases, with the first taking place from August to December 2013 and the second from May to August 2014.


During this period 73 turbine monopiles and a substation jacket foundation were installed, with the MWD providing a team of Marine Mammal Observers and Passive Acoustic Monitoring Systems Operators based on the dedicated mitigation vessels, M.V.Waterfall and M.V. Gardian 7.


All vessels used during the construction monitoring programme have been based out of Grimsby where vessel crew worked closely with the E.ON marine co-ordination centre.


OTHER ENVIRONMENTAL CONTRACTS In addition to seabird surveys and the marine mammal mitigation programme, GEL were contracted by E.ON to carry out other environmental surveys for the construction phase for Humber Gateway offshore wind farm, including subsea noise monitoring during piling and herring spawning monitoring.


Gardline Environmental


Kittiwake photographed during seabird surveys at the Humber Gateway Offshore Wind Farm


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