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Jacob C.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Pioch S.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Thorin S.,Creocean
Environmental Impact Assessment Review | Year: 2016

While the development of maritime economic activity is increasingly encouraged, the consideration of its impacts constitutes a real challenge. The limitations of the implementation of the mitigation hierarchy have been widely discussed in scientific literature, yet data on marine biodiversity offset practices remains scarce. In this study, we investigated the use of Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs) as suitable instruments to achieve the No Net Loss objective. Drawing on a French approach developed for the initial assessment of the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive, we examined the pressures and impacts related to various marine development projects and the effectiveness of the mitigation hierarchy in limiting these. An analysis of 55 recent French environmental impact studies showed that only 7% of the proposed measures had the aim of offsetting predicted degradation of sites of remarkable biodiversity. This can be partly explained by the lack of a clear definition of 'significant impact', which varies greatly depending on what is impacted, in turn allowing socio-economic activities to benefit more easily from offset. Furthermore, offsetting does not always constitute the final step of the mitigation hierarchy, highlighting the need to reinforce avoidance and reduction steps. Although we acknowledge the role of EIA in mitigating the negative impacts of development projects, synergies with other European marine environmental policies such as the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) and the Maritime Spatial Planning directive (MSP) should be developed in order to improve current practices. © 2016 Elsevier Inc.

Robert D.,Total S.A. | Labaune C.,Creocean
1st Applied Shallow Marine Geophysics Conference, Part of Near Surface Geoscience 2014 | Year: 2014

The oil terminal of the Cap Lopez in Gabon is situated on the extremity of a sandy arrow which is subject to strong sedimentary mobility phenomena's. To understand the hydrodynamic system of the site, a 4D morpho-bathymetric study is conducted since 1958. The difficulty of this study is mainly due to the lack of homogeneity in terms of precision and wedging of the data. The old data (1958 to 2003) consists of sounding maps acquired with mono-beam echo-sounders. From 2004, digital data were acquired with mono-beam echo-sounders (2004 to 2008) then with multi-beam echo-sounders. Besides the diversity of the operated tools, the quality of the surveys and their precision are variable depending on the weather conditions, the calibration processes and the validation of the data during the acquisition. After data homogenization and selection, a 4D analysis was conducted using GIS tool in order to compare all the bathymetric surveys but also the shoreline evolution. A quantitative and qualitative analysis of the evolutions of the site is produced. The objectives of this regular follow-up are to better understand the sedimentary processes and to delineate the potential geohazard zones to anticipate slope failures.

Blanchet H.,CNRS Laboratory of Oceanic Environments and Paleo-environments (EPOC) | Gouillieux B.,CNRS Laboratory of Oceanic Environments and Paleo-environments (EPOC) | Alizier S.,Lille University of Science and Technology | Amouroux J.-M.,CNRS Benthic Ecogeochemistry Laboratory | And 22 more authors.
Journal of Sea Research | Year: 2014

Based on a parallel sampling conducted during autumn 2008, a comparative study of the intertidal benthic macrofauna among 10 estuarine systems located along the Channel and Atlantic coasts of France was performed in order to assess the level of fauna similarity among these sites and to identify possible environmental factors involved in the observed pattern at both large (among sites) and smaller (benthic assemblages) scales. More precisely this study focused on unraveling the observed pattern of intertidal benthic fauna composition and diversity observed at among-site scale by exploring both biotic and abiotic factors acting at the among- and within-site scales. Results showed a limited level of similarity at the among-site level in terms of intertidal benthic fauna composition and diversity. The observed pattern did not fit with existing transitional water classification methods based on fish or benthic assemblages developed in the frame of the European Water Framework Directive (WFD). More particularly, the coastal plain estuaries displayed higher among-site similarity compared to ria systems. These coastal plain estuaries were characterized by higher influence of river discharge, lower communication with the ocean and high suspended particulate matter levels. On the other hand, the ria-type systems were more dissimilar and different from the coastal plain estuaries. The level of similarity among estuaries was mainly linked to the relative extent of the intertidal ". Scrobicularia plana-Cerastoderma edule" and ". Tellina tenuis" or ". Venus" communities as a possible consequence of salinity regime, suspended matter concentrations and fine particles supply with consequences on the trophic functioning, structure and organization of benthic fauna. Despite biogeographical patterns, the results also suggest that, in the context of the WFD, these estuaries should only be compared on the basis of the most common intertidal habitat occurring throughout all estuarine systems and that the EUNIS biotope classification might be used for this purpose. In addition, an original inverse relation between γ-diversity and area was shown; however, its relevance might be questioned. © 2014 Elsevier B.V.

Bas A.,Electricite de France | Jacob C.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Hay J.,University of Western Brittany | Pioch S.,CNRS Center of Evolutionary and Functional Ecology | Thorin S.,Creocean
Journal of Environmental Management | Year: 2016

Although the limitations of implementing the mitigation hierarchy have been widely discussed in scientific literature, these studies have drawn mainly on feedback concerning terrestrial ecosystems. In the case of development projects in marine and coastal environments, certain issues must be tackled to improve existing practice. This article focuses on the methodologies used to assess both the ecological losses resulting from a development project and the ecological gains generated by an offset measure. The originality of this article is to propose a standardized, operational approach regardless of the development project and the ecosystem impacted that (i) enhances avoidance and reduction efforts and (ii) assesses biodiversity offset needs based on data available in Environmental Impact Assessments (EIAs). The proposed hybrid method combines a multi-criteria analysis of the state of the environment, inspired by the Unified Mitigation Assessment Method (UMAM), and a more accurate assessment at indicator level inspired by Habitat Equivalency Analysis (HEA). The steps of the method, from the selection of biophysical indicators to offset sizing, are described and are then applied to two EIA case studies: one related to a port extension and the other to an offshore wind farm. © 2016 Elsevier Ltd.

Dutrieux E.,Creocean | Proisy C.,IRD Montpellier | Fromard F.,Ecolab | Walcker R.,Ecolab | And 3 more authors.
Society of Petroleum Engineers - SPE International Conference on Health, Safety and Environment 2014: The Journey Continues | Year: 2014

Mangroves are critical ecosystems given their key role in conserving biodiversity, protecting coastlines from erosion and supporting coastal resources. They may be impacted by oil and gas activities, either directly or indirectly. Restoring them is therefore of prime importance. In the Mahakam Delta (East Kalimantan, Indonesia), oil and gas exploration and production have been conducted for more than 40 years. This industry has operated in a quasi-pristine area barely affected by human activities until the mid 80's. Toward the late 1980's and until 2000, the delta was subject to massive and rapid development of shrimp farming and by 2001, 85% of the delta mangroves were destroyed and most of it replaced by ponds used for aquaculture. By the end of 1990's, shrimp farm productivity in the delta decreased due to a lack of nutrients in ponds and the occurrence of shrimp diseases. Numerous ponds were abandoned in the delta. This economic situation generated social instabilities that could threaten the oil and gas industry in the region. Therefore, in order to better protect mangroves and optimize restoration of damaged areas, Total E&P Indonesie embarked on a mangrove restoration initiative of the Mahakam Delta aimed at understanding and contributing to the restoration processes through both natural recolonization and planting techniques. The general methodology implemented has been to i) describe the land cover using satellite imagery, interpreting aerial photos, conducting field work, and establishing GIS maps, ii) inventory the fauna and flora (including mangroves, birds, mammals, reptiles), iii) monitoring the naturally re-colonized areas, replanted areas and original forest in selected areas. Results show that natural recolonization of a mangrove area can be very quick under certain conditions (subject to availability of seeds and easy access of seeds to the area to be recolonized). But in areas where seeds cannot easily move, or where seed supply is scarce, replanting remains the best option. Social aspects have also to be taken into account given that replanting can promote the local commitment to sustainable environmental conservation. Copyright 2014 , Society of Petroleum Engineers.

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