Page last updated at 12:00 GMT, Tuesday, 29 September 2009 13:00 UK

Experts examine harbour wildlife

Ramsey harbour (Pic: Manx government)
Plans to revamp Ramsey harbour are on display at the town hall

The ecological impact of proposals to create a marina in Ramsey are to be examined before a decision on its location is made, the government says.

Public consultations are being carried out on two alternative sites for a marina development in the town.

Studies have suggested the old harbour option would have the least impact on the ecology of the Sulby River estuary.

Conservation officer Liz Charter said an environmental impact assessment was needed to "fully assess" the plans.

The Department of Transport (DoT) wants to create a marina to attract more boats and build on the success of marinas in Peel and Douglas.

Scientific interest

An ecological impact study of both marina options being considered by the government are to be carried out.

The first would be to impound only the old harbour. Those in favour of this idea believe there would be no change in the water course of the Sulby River.

The second proposal would be to impound the area of the swing bridge, which would allow for visitor berthing much nearer the heart of the town.

The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) is planning to designate the parts of the river which meet the criteria for areas of special scientific interest (ASSI).

"The assessment undertaken by DAFF when looking at the potential ASSI has shown that the marina development in the old harbour would have the least impact on the ecology of the Sulby rover estuary," said Ms Charter.

"However, an environmental impact assessment will be necessary to fully assess the impacts of any proposal."

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