The BKSA have been working closely with the Balanced Seas Project and have been attending meetings over the past year, Balanced Seas is a project working in partnership with all those with an interest in the marine environment to identify and recommend Marine Conservation Zones for the inshore and off-shore waters of south-east England. (more info check there web site)
Last week was the final meeting of the Balanced Seas project group before the Recommended Marine Conservation Zones get passed to DEFRA on (31/8/2011) and eventually the government make a decision to change our seas for the future in by designating these areas in Dec 2012.
The entire project team and Stakeholder group have worked diligently throughout this 18 month process, to create a coherent network of areas that achieve the best possible protection for our seas, whilst minimizing the impact to stakeholders themselves.
We are very glad to report that The MMO, DEFRA, JNCC and Natural England have confirmed the minimal impacts that Kite surfing has upon the environment, and as a result have stated that Kite surfing activities will not be included within their impact assessments for each area of the Balanced Seas region.
The next steps in the process include an in depth Impact Assessment for activities thought to be damaging to the seas, after which DEFRA will make informed economic choices as to which sites should go to public consultation at the end of summer 2012. After consultation, the minister will make the final decision as to which areas are to designated, and these will be in place by December 2012.
More details will be available on the Balanced seas website after 31st August, and a link to JNCC’s wesite (where updates on the process can be found for the future) will be made available.
The BKSA do there best to represent the Kiting world in public eye and behind the scenes, We will always try to do so, in the present and future.