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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013, Article ID 906180, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2013/906180
Research Article

Epibenthic Assessment of a Renewable Tidal Energy Site

Marine Institute, Plymouth University, Marine Building, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, UK

Received 12 December 2012; Accepted 8 January 2013

Academic Editors: A. Azzellino, D. Conley, J. P. Kofoed, and D. Vicinanza

Copyright © 2013 Emma V. Sheehan et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Concern over global climate change as a result of fossil fuel use has resulted in energy production from renewable sources. Marine renewable energy devices provide clean electricity but can also cause physical disturbance to the local environment. There is a considerable paucity of ecological data at potential marine renewable energy sites that is needed to assess potential future impacts and allow optimal siting of devices. Here, we provide a baseline benthic survey for the Big Russel in Guernsey, UK, a potential site for tidal energy development. To assess the suitability of proposed sites for marine renewable energy in the Big Russel and to identify potential control sites, we compared species assemblages and habitat types. This baseline survey can be used to select control habitats to compare and monitor the benthic communities after installation of the device and contribute towards the optimal siting of any future installation.