The Cinque Port and Haven of

A Trust Port  Managed  by the Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners under  ancient Acts of Parliament


Site Map

Oil Spill and Pollution Control

Emergency spill and contamination contingency


 Thanet, Dover & Canterbury  Councils districts.

1. What is the long-term goal?     

The main objective to ensure that an effective emergency spill response is in place to avoid major effects from possible spills.  

This is compatible with the SPA and SAC objectives.  

2. What is the current situation?  (Background Information  - Facts and Figures)  

Description  Emergency spill contingency planning

Location could be anywhere – but higher probability around the boat moorings at Stonar and above Sandwich Bridge.  There is also the possibility of pollution entering the river from seaward from an incident at sea.  The Eastern English Channel being a high probability.

Potential numbers involved. Few, perhaps from two vessels in collision, or minor spills from incidents such as from tank flushing to leakage from the many WWII and Goodwins wrecks leakage.

Frequency of activity  rare - most minor, likely from rainwater run off from roads and insignificant in volume.

Other information Major incidents co-ordinated by MCA in conjunction with all local authorities & rescue agencies.

MCA are working on a number of issues concerned with environmental protection, the major elements being addressed are:

Ships Ballast Water.  Not an issue in the Port and Haven but small craft should take care when pumping bilges.

Oil marking?


Port Waste Reception Facilities.  Vessels in the Port and Haven would be expected to go to Ramsgate or Dover if any quantity is involved.  Otherwise Use of the facilities provided by Highway Marine, Sandwich Marina or the facility provided at the Public Tip at Richborough.

Sewage.  Shore side facilities are available at both marinas, the town quay and the Sailing Club.  

Prevention of Oil Pollution.   Circulation of open letter reminding boat owners of their responsibility, send perhaps by marinas with their annual boat owner accounts.

Marine Litter.  A very major problem in the Port and Haven area.  Much debris and vegetation including tree trunks and the occasional dead animal - which become entangled around boats and behind pontoons.  Environment Agency made aware many times but no evidence of any action. Debris largely comes from upstream in the Environment Agency (Canterbury) part of the river whilst some works it’s way along the rubbish afflicted Sandwich Bay foreshore to be swept in by the tide.

Air Pollution.  Insignificant.  There are no records of air pollution incidents emanating from the Sandwich Port and Haven areas.

Anti-fouling / TBT.  Banned under international legislation.  None thought to be used anywhere in The Haven.

3. What are the effects of these activities?   

Social, economic and cultural.  Control in the cost of clean up. Impact on the river as a tourist attraction.

Effect on local communities that are impacted by the spills.  Miinimal. Though the potential impacts on the environment can be vast, ranging from oiled birds to habitat destruction while the potential impacts on the environment can be long lasting.

Note.  The River Stour and it’s margins are Sites of Special Scientific Interest  (SSSIs)

4. What is the current management?

Organisations responsible for management  include


Kent Police


Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners.  DDC Foreshore + Emergency Planning + Environmental Health

Oil Spill Contingency Guidelines (MCA)

Dover port Emergency Guidelines - Reference

Wild life - Voluntary action – Thanet Seabird Rescue & local vets; RSPCA.

5. Will this management address the issues  – if not why not?     

Will current management deliver the long term vision for this activity   - Yes.

Will current management mean the vibrant SSSI ecosystem can survive this activity over the longer term?  Yes.

Management completeness.  No shortcomings identified.

6. The future.

Sandwich Port and Haven Commissioners will maintain a watching brief to identify changes in river usage and ecology and adapt it’s management plan - embraced in this document -  accordingly.

Comment is welcome.