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Irish Sea Marine Aggregates Initiative

Acronym: IMAGIN
Period: 2005 till 2006
Status: Completed

Institutes (5)  Top 

Aggregates (sand and gravel) are essential products for the development and maintenance of infrastructure. Economically viable on-land sources in Britain and Ireland are rapidly diminishing, and in order to sustain competitive economic development, alternative sources need to be found.

Significant marine aggregate deposits are available in the southern Irish Sea, and these can contribute to competitive regional development. The exploitation of these resources must, however, be carried out in an environmentally sustainable way and take into account other legitimate uses of the area such as nature conservation, fishing and navigation.
IMAGIN brings together an Ireland/Wales scientific consortium comprising organisations with expertise in coastal processes, geology and marine resource management for the purpose of developing a strategic framework and scientific rationale to underpin future policy development for Irish Sea aggregates. It is intended that this framework, once developed, will provide the operational guidelines and regulatory processes necessary for the environmentally sustainable management of Irish Sea aggregates.

Scientific studies are evaluating available aggregate resources and ascertain where they may best be exploited with the minimum of disturbance to the environment and human activities. A marine database and advanced geographic information system are developed to

  1. manage and present pertinent spatial information, including profiles of other marine users;
  2. inform stakeholders and scientists,
  3. act as an operational tool to facilitate the management of future regulatory processes.

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