As mentioned in another post, the southernmost stand of mangroves in Westernport are vital for the health of the bay. My students are replacing mangroves seedlings as they are the best defence in combating erosion and sediment that is already causing problems. With added chlorine and lower temperature water going to be added to a delicate environment, what has been done to ensure there are no negative effects of the discharge on mangroves. Any evidence or just theory?
We’d just like to apologise for the delay in addressing your enquiry – we have received a large number of complex and detailed questions that we need to discuss with a few specialists.
This is not the way we want to deal with community concerns and we’re working to be more responsive in the future.
We’ll respond to your question shortly.
Thank you for your comment.
Mangroves are vital to the Western Port environment.
Initial modelling in the preliminary expert assessments used for the EES referral has demonstrated that mangroves will be not affected by the cold-water discharge. This preliminary assessment was undertaken by CEE environmental scientists and engineers.
The assessment stated that Benthic habitats in water depths less than less than 12.5 m will be unaffected by the direct effects of FSRU operation, particularly direct effects of the seawater heat exchange discharge. These unaffected habitats include intertidal saltmarsh, mangroves, seagrass and mudflat habitats, which are valuable foraging and roosting habitats for waterbirds. Subtidal seagrass and shallow, bare seabed habitats will also be unaffected by direct effects.
The preliminary assessment concluded:
‘saltmarsh, mangrove, mudflat, intertidal seagrass, subtidal seagrass and channel slope communities and sensitive species that occupy habitats to a water depth of 12.5 m will be unaffected by the direct effects of the cold-water discharge. Hence, a substantial proportion of marine ecosystem habitats and communities will be separated from the effects of cold-water by the physical behaviour of the cold-water discharge.’
The full assessment can be found here.
If you are interested, there is more discussion on mangroves at this forum thread here.
This will be further examined as part of an Environment Effect Statement, a requirement by the Victorian Government.