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DOING YOUR BIT LOCALLY

Most of the significant environmental problems in and on estuary are the result of the cumulative impact of very numerous but small incidents e.g. fuel spillages, phosphate rich detergent use, sewage discharges, etc. If we flip this on its head, this means that if everyone makes a small effort to quell these small incidents, the cumulative positive impact will be significant!

Water quality – as water sports enthusiasts, we all have a very direct interest in enhancing the water quality of the estuary, please;

    • take every precaution to catch every drop of oil from your engine (car included!)
    • make sure that every drop of fuel goes into the fuel tank
    • only use degradable and phosphate free detergents – both at home and on the water.

Seagrass meadows – (also known as eelgrass beds) support a hugely rich and valuable marine community, including nursery, spawning and feeding areas for commercially important species or their prey as well as helping to stabilise the sediments and inhibit erosion. They are particularly vulnerable to propeller and anchor damage, so please try to avoid these areas.

If you find yourself within the seagrass it is very important to stop and lift your engine, and use your oars to paddle away or over the seagrass until in deeper water. NEVER use your engine to force your way through the beds and avoid excessive propeller wash until well clear.

Try to avoid anchoring in or over the eelgrass beds, or allowing your boat to ground or drag over them. Seagrass meadows are a fascinating underwater jungle so always keep a good eye out for people snorkelling and exploring them.

Rockpool life – we must never challenge the excitement of children collecting crabs and other rockpool life in a bucket but it is a great chance to encourage them to look carefully and to respect and care for living things - changing the water in the bucket on hot days frequently! By its very nature, most rockpool life is quite robust but please, always leave life attached to the rocks and put back all upturned stones as you found them – some life forms are very fussy and will die if left exposed. Take a good seashore guide, take your time and get in close and you won’t be disappointed!

Copyright River Yealm Harbour Authority 2017