How to carry out a Water Framework Directive (WFD) assessment for a marine licence application

Transitional and coastal water bodies are protected under the Water Framework Directive with the aim of achieving good overall status. Therefore, a licensed project or activity seaward of Mean High Water Springs and up to 1 nautical mile must demonstrate that it will not cause ‘deterioration in the water body’. Note that the chemical status of the water body is assessed up to 12 nautical miles.

All applications, apart from Band 1 low risk activity applications, must be accompanied by a WFD assessment.

Guidance on how to carry out a WFD assessment can be found on GOV.UK. Links on GOV.UK will take you to data on the English waterbodies. Data on the Welsh waterbodies are available on Water Watch Wales.

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