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Maritime archaeology fieldwork in the Vrouw Maria Underwater project in 2010 - 2012 will not weaken the Natura natural values of the area in which the wreck is located
The wreck of the Vrouw Maria is located in a Natura area in the Archipelago National Park, so before starting fieldwork in the Vrouw Maria Underwater project, it was essential to have an evaluation of the necessity of a Natura impact assessment carried out by a consultant and to obtain a statement from the ELY Centre for Southwest Finland (Southwest Finland Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment) on the impact of the fieldwork.
The evaluation determines whether a full Natura impact assessment is required. Natura impact assessment is based on the Finnish Nature Conservation Act (Nature Conservation Act 1096/96, Sections 65 - 66). The evaluation of the necessity of Natura impact assessment is similar to environmental impact analysis (EIA) but is slightly less far-reaching. The body carrying out the project pays the cost of the evaluation. The evaluation describes the project and its impact and evaluates the significance of its impacts. If the project would not significantly weaken the grounds for the area being designated a protected area, there is no need for a full Natura impact assessment. Natura 2000 is a Europe-wide network of ecological sites. It helps to safeguard species and habitats that are vulnerable, rare or typical for the area within the European Union.
The consultants chosen to evaluate the need for a Natura impact assessment were Panu Oulasvirta (Alleco Oy) and Rauno Yrjölä (Ympäristötutkimus Yrjölä Oy), and the Vrouw Maria working group submitted a fieldwork plan to them in December 2009. The task of the consultants was to supplement the environmental information required in the plan and to assess the impacts of the fieldwork on the environment. The fieldwork presented in the evaluation of the Vrouw Maria Underwater project also included a work plan in line with which maritime archaeological research on the wreck would be carried out. A survey of the organisms on the sea bed at the wreck site was carried out by Kimmo Karell, Ari Ruuskanen and Niko Nappu (Monivesi Oy).
A document was then submitted to the Southwest Finland ELY Centre for a statement. In its statement (22.3.2010) the ELY Centre found that the needs evaluation had been carried out with care and appropriately and that the Vrouw Maria Underwater project would not weaken the natural values of the Natura area in the Archipelago Sea, the grounds for the area being selected as part of the Natura 2000 network. Nor was there a need for a full Natura impact analysis.
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Last updated 30.10.2015
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