December 8, 2021

Client: Environment and Resources Authority (ERA)

PROJECT BACKGROUND

When it came to pre-2010 coastal water surveys, several studies had been carried out in various parts covering the Maltese coast. However, no national baseline study had ever been carried out in line with the Water Framework Directive(WFD) and Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). Most of the study initiatives were either driven by academic interest or to assess water bathing quality.

REQUEST

AIS Environment conducted a baseline study of the Maltese Coastal Waters. The survey included assignments covering categories such as Air, Soil and Water. 

Baseline Survery of Coastal Waters
Baseline Survery of Coastal Waters
Baseline Survery of Coastal Waters
Baseline Survery of Coastal Waters

Surveys carried out at sea

OUR INPUT

Our team covered 5 different activities during the survey, each for Air, Soil and Water:

  1. An analysis of the existing monitoring programs through a comprehensive review of policy tools and legislative instruments. 
  2. The development of a long-term monitoring strategy. 
  3. An implementation plan for the monitoring strategy.  
  4. A feasibility assessment of programmes  
  5. A design of specifications mainly the design of long-term monitoring programmes. 

The project boarded a well-equipped vessel to collected marine sediments and seawater samples from all around the Maltese Islands. Sediments were collected using grabs, sieved and fixed using chemicals to prevent deterioration. Water samples were collected using Niskin bottles. The samples were analysed for various chemical pollutants, radiation levels and biological analyses such as phytoplankton.

Baseline Survery of Coastal Waters
Baseline Survery of Coastal Waters

Inspection and analysis of sediment samples

RESULTS

The results of the project were used by the Maltese Authorities to report the environmental status of our coastal waters to the European Union. The results were also used to identify problem areas and to develop targets for improving the health of Maltese coastal waters.