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Environmental Information

QHM, in his role as the regulatory authority for the Dockyard Port of Portsmouth (DPP) has a strong commitment to fulfilling his legal and moral responsibility for protecting the environment.  This is achieved by actively participating in local conservation groups and managing marine activity to protect and improve the environment, risk assessing marine activity within the DPP and its effect on the environment, and having in place suitable emergency measures including a comprehensive oil spill response organisation.

Conservation Areas

Portsmouth Harbour and the Solent are home to a rich blend of Marine Protected Areas, including Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) , important for their wildlife habitats, geological features and landforms; Special Areas of Conservation (SACs), important or their habitats and species; Special Protected Areas (SPAs), important for their bird species; and, wetlands designated under the RAMSAR convention. The following designations are in place in the DPP:

    Brading Marshes to St Helen’s Ledges SSSI

    Browndown SSSI

    Gilkicker Lagoon SSSI

    Kings Quay Shore SSSI

    SSSI Designation for Ryde Sands and Wotton Creek

    Isle of Wight Bembridge Down SSSI

    Sinah Common SSSI

    RAMSAR Designation for Portsmouth Harbour

    SPA Designation for Portsmouth Harbour

    SAC Designation for Solent and Isle of Wight (Maritime)

A comprehensive lists of designations, their associated features and condition assessment are available in appendices B - F of the Baseline Document for Maintenance Dredging in Portsmouth Harbour. 

The Solent Forum

The Solent Forum was established in 1992 to consider and provide advice on strategic issues that have implications for the Solent area as well as to develop a greater understanding among the authorities and agencies involved in the planning and management of the Solent and to assist and influence them in carrying out their functions.

The Queen’s Harbour Master Portsmouth is the Vice Chairman of the Solent Forum and is a member of the Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS) Management Scheme. To assist QHM in carrying out his functions he is represented at meetings of the following Groups:

    Solent Forum

    Solent European Marine Sites (SEMS) Management Group

    SEMS Natural Environment Group (NEG)


Maintenance Dredging of Portsmouth Harbour is carried out under licence from the Marine Management Organisation and has been subject to thorough Environmental Impact Assessment.  Full information is contained in the Portsmouth Maintenance Dredging Baseline Document.

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