Magazine article Geographical

Wait and Sea

Magazine article Geographical

Wait and Sea

Article excerpt

The 2012 Olympics Games may well do wonders for London's development, but they could be disastrous for Britain's marine environment. All of the building going on has increased demand for concrete, which, in turn, is increasing the demand for marine aggregates--sand and gravel dredged up from the seabed (page 38).

Each year, 24.8 million tonnes of marine aggregates are removed from an area of about 141 square kilometres--the equivalent of approximately 50 medium-sized land-based quarries--at sites dotted around the British Isles. This might sound like rather a lot, but as the British Marine Aggregates Producers Association, which represents more than 90 per cent of the marine aggregates industry, is keen to point out, 141 square kilometres represents only 0.016 per cent of the UK's overall continental shelf.

The trouble is, we don't really know what effect this is having on the seabed. …

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