Seagrass-friendly moorings, eco-engineered tiles, and a new ‘carbon pass’ app are some of the initiatives outlined in the Ports of Jersey’s ‘Planet and People Plan’ released this week.
The ‘ambitious and authentic’ strategy outlines how the Island’s airport and harbours operator aims to decarbonise their operations and preserve Jersey’s water and marine biodiversity.
Introducing the plan, Ports of Jersey CEO Matt Thomas writes: ‘For anyone in the travel industry, a conversation about climate change is never going to be an easy one. Climate change, along with biodiversity loss and social inequality, are the most important battles of our time and every airport and harbour has a hugely important role to play.
‘We have created a comprehensive strategy of priorities, goals and initiatives that will truly make an impact, to our community, our Island and our planet.’
One such initiative is their newly developed app, CarbonPass, which allows Islanders to offset the amount of carbon produced by their travels by donating to Durrell’s ReWild Carbon programme.
‘This app provides an easy way to see how much carbon is created by your travel plans and the small cost to balance that carbon,’ explains Jenny Marek-Murray, Corporate Services Director.
Other projects aim to protect and restore the Island’s extensive seagrass meadows, and improve biodiversity around the harbours and ports.
‘St Catherine’s bay has got an extensive seagrass meadow, one of the largest round the Island,’ explains Louise Stafford, Project and Environmental Manager. ‘Seagrass is really important for absorbing and sinking carbon. The aim of our work is to see what we can do to modify moorings that we have in the bay and replace them with advanced mooring systems that help protect seagrass and prevent erosion.’
The firm also hopes to enhance the marine biodiversity around its sites by adding 3D printed tiles to seawalls. The tiles replicate the ‘nooks and crannies’ of the marine environment to create new habitats for species to ‘call home’. By adding more crevices, the tiles increase the habitat complexity of the seawalls. This provides shelter and reduces the surface temperature, allowing a greater variety of species to live and grow.
The sustainability plan was created by more than 100 Ports of Jersey employees, in what the firm says was an ‘inclusive’ and ‘inspiring’ process. ‘Our sustainability goals are ambitious and rightly so,’ Matt Thomas says. ‘We understand that the key to our success will be the partnerships we build and the collaboration we can inspire. Together with our community, Government, business, industry, and our partners, we can make the greatest difference.’