Boatwash Review

Posted by Eoghan, Moore Marine

In 2006, in conjunction with University College Cork Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre and Aquatic Services Unit, Orla Power for Moore Marine worked on the cultural heritage impacts as part of the ‘Literature review on the impacts of boat wash on the heritage of Ireland’s inland waterways’, commissioned by the Heritage Council. We’ve an excerpt below followed by a link to the full publication at the bottom.

While boat wash has been identified as a contributing factor in the destabilization of cultural resources in freshwater zones, little research has been conducted in this area. In fact, data relating to the impact of general waves on the shorelines of freshwater environments is also virtually non-existent (Allan and Kirk, 2000). As a result, the majority of sources accessed for this report depend primarily on observational data relating to the erosion effects of boat wash. Despite the absence of quantitative data, many insist that any competent observer could identify the association between boat wash and erosion problems. (Gill and Blake, 32: 2002)

O’Halloran (2000) discusses the impact of recreational boating on aboriginal cultural sites in Lake Hume, New South Wales. Heightened levels of erosion and greater artefact dispersal can be attributed to the direct impact of wave action, subsequent inundation and exposure. The detrimental effects of boat wakes, have also been noted at the site of the USS Utah in Pearl Harbour (NPS, 2001 ) and on the Panama Canal at the Pedro Miguel Saddle Dam (c.1900) (Bragar, 2001). From an Irish perspective, the impact of boat wash on submerged cultural heritage at Rindoon Harbour, Co. Roscommon has been noted with concern (Breen, 1998)……. Full publication here.

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