March 28th, 2023, is the time when all partners of the RaNTrans project converged at the CEVA – Algae Technology and Innovation Centre in France for our end of project meeting and presentations of research results. This final meeting of the partners was well attended with some persons joining online due to domestic strike action in France and our larger group attending in-person after hours of traveling by ferry and car. Overall this was a spectacular as well as rewarding session for all, not only because of the interesting results being presented, but because it was great to see most of our colleagues in person and to continue the necessary conversations that are essential in understanding how the research processed are being implemented to drive the improvements in nutrient remediation and restoration of water quality and connected ecosystems, as well as add further social and economic value across the channel regions.
Our work promises to contribute towards reducing nutrients in the FCE percentage of Transitional and Coastal (TAC) water bodies and making significant contributions (20%) towards achieving Good Ecological Status (GES) in line with England Water Environment policies and EU Water Framework Directive.
The need to reduce the nutrient impact from wastewater and agriculture highlights the growing importance of the results from our work to restore water quality and the connected ecosystem, some of which supports habitats and species of conservation concerns.
Further funding is an important element that is needed
Further funding is an important element that is needed, perhaps from private and public partnerships for upscaling the project results and unleashing the multiple benefits that are expected such as, optimising seaweed culture and European oyster aquaculture; algal mat removal for wider beneficial uses – feeding algal mats to polychaete worms and converting these to aquaculture feed, and more. There is much to be gained for these green investments in nature-based solutions. Marine net gain (MNG) is a Biodiversity Net Gain (BNG) approach that could achieved by upscaling these research results.
According to Natural England “Broadly speaking, MNG aims to put the marine environment into recovery by requiring that all in-scope developments leave the environment in a measurably better state than before, thereby firmly embedding environmental improvement into the heart of infrastructure planning and development. There is significant interest in developing an approach to delivering Net Gain in the marine environment from a range of stakeholders across marine industry, public bodies, and NGOs. As with BNG, Natural England is very supportive of this work, and we recognise the enormous opportunity this offers to help put our seas back on the road to recovery”
Nutrient credits for trading within nutrient neutrality schemes is one return on investments that the various investing stakeholders could expect, as well as further contributions towards net zero and BNG targets.
Please get in touch with the RaNTrans project team to discus these opportunities.