Our Environment Matters
Contact the HISC Office who will pass your email on to our environmental officer, Emma.
At HISC we are redoubling our efforts to fight plastic pollution, reduce our environmental footprint and leave the sea and beaches in a better state than we find them now. After a couple of years distracted whilst fighting the pandemic, it is our goal to catch up and supersede where we were pre-covid.
Emma Toman – Environmental Officer
Coming soon! Keep an eye out for our new recycling bins as well as in depth dive into the data on our energy and water usage year on year.
7th to 11th August - Youth Race Week: look out for Nellie the fish and other environment related activities taking place this week
14th to 18th August - Chichester Harbour Race Week: will be run as a green event again in order to build on last years experiences
Priorities for 2023
Our key actions are to:
- Benchmark using the RYA and British Marine’s GreenBlue programme to become greener.
- Work with local groups (Chichester Harbour Conservancy, Bird Aware, Clean Harbours Partnership) to maintain and improve our local environment.
- Actively reduce our use of single use plastics; we hold Bronze certification from the Final Straw Foundation.
- Raise awareness of environmental topics through our briefings, website, newsletters and notice boards.
- Encourage participation in green initiatives like the Borrow Bag scheme to stop fabric going to landfill and remove plastic bags from local retail outlets.
Our commitments are to:
- Continue investing in infrastructure to reduce our carbon footprint; solar pv and rainwater capture.
- Educate our members and visitors about our local environment and ways they can protect it.
- Continue to improve sustainability in our forward planning for the next generations.
Watersports & Wildlife
With the popularity of watersports growing, please take some time to read the latest guidance from BirdAware on how to protect wildlife when participating in watersports.
We are also working with:
Chichester Harbour Environmental Forum
HISC is an active member of the Chichester Harbour Environmental Forum, the forum meets monthly to discuss a range of topics pertinent to how the harbour clubs and businesses contribute to the general protection of the environment and wildlife within the harbour. Much of this focuses on how to achieve the RYA's Green Blue strategy which is something HISC has been working toward and reporting on for the last two years. We also have the harbours water quality firmly on the agenda. We are chaired by Sue Nash from the CHF (contact here) and work in collaboration with all the sailing clubs to achieve common goals and share resources.
Exciting New Saltmarsh Restoration Project
Whilst boating in Chichester Harbour you may have noticed diggers and heavy equipment operating on the shore at West Itchenor. This is part of an exciting project by the the Chichester Harbour Conservancy to restore saltmarsh in our harbour which has been contracting due to sea rise and the inability for the plant to retreat inland because of man-made defences. Saltmarsh is important within our coastal ecosystem as it stores carbon, helping to counter climate change, and acts as a natural flood and coastal defence as well as helping to improve water quality.
The project began in February of this year and piloted a new technique, the 'Saltmarsh Restoration Dragbox’ (SRDB). Designed by the company Land and Water, the drag box pulls sediment dredged elsewhere in the harbour higher up the intertidal area to a level where it is hoped that the saltmarsh can become established and colonise the area without being washed away.
The sediment itself came from a routine maintenance dredge at the entrance to Chichester Marina with around 1,600 cubic meters of dredged sediment being deposited at West Itchenor. Each load was delivered at high tide as far up the intertidal area as water depths would allow. When the tide had retreated far enough, all the sediment was transferred to the top of the shore by the SRDB and moulded into shape. Once in place the sediment settled relatively quickly, drying out, and seemingly unaffected by tides or weather conditions. A survey of the trial site shows that the placed sediment is at heights which should be suitable for saltmarsh plant colonisation. The total area measures around 0.25 hectares.
In the last couple of weeks the first shoots have been spotted on the site. This is great news for the trial and we hope other areas will be identified to restore more saltmarsh to our harbour.
One of our remits at the Final Straw Solent is to encourage ocean health and promote sustainable practices for all people to use in their day to day lives. We have been encouraging businesses and individuals to reduce the amount of single use plastics they are using, in the hope that this will have a knock on effect to others.
This is where Final Straw Solent link in perfectly with Hayling Island Sailing Club. We are firm believers that change needs to happen, and what better place to start than at sailing clubs where we work and play on our oceans.
As sailors we have a responsibility to care for our oceans and lead by example with our sustainable practices. We love the ocean and we need to take care of it.
At high tides shorebirds move from their intertidal feeding grounds around Chichester Harbour to resting sites known as roosts. Black Point is a highly important high tide roost and provides vital refuge to a variety of ducks, geese and wading birds especially in winter.
A species which can be seen at Black Point in flocks of 3000-8000 is the Dunlin. These small waders, which weigh the same as a kiwi fruit, travel from Iceland, Scandinavia and Russia to spend winter with us in the Solent.
Oystercatchers, Knot, Sanderling, Redshank, Grey Plover, Brent Geese and Ringed Plover also congregate here, seeking a safe place to rest. The variety of birds that use this spit together make this a very special place.
We want everyone to enjoy the amazing Solent coast while sharing our shores with the wildlife who call it home.
Please follow these three steps to ensure the birds can use the spit for years to come:
- Avoid walking out onto the spit when the tide is high
- Keep a good distance from the spit whilst out on the water
- Launch and land craft away from the spit
Bird Aware Solent is a Partnership consisting of fifteen Solent councils and four conservation organisations. We aim to raise awareness of protected birds that spend the winter on the Solent, helping people to enjoy the coast whilst giving birds the space they need to feed and rest.
Clean Harbours Partnership
Chichester Harbour Federation