7    Cultural heritage IMpact Assessment


7.1    Introduction


This Section of the EIA Report presents the findings of an assessment of the impact of construction and operation of the proposed mud pits at East of Sha Chau on cultural heritage, including Marine Archaeology.


7.2    Objectives of the Marine Archaeological Investigation


The objectives of this MAI include the following:


·         to undertake a desktop review of marine archaeological sites in the project area;

·         to review available geophysical reports and data, and evaluate if further geophysical survey is required;

·         to establish the archaeological potential of the selected site; and

·         to assess the potential impact that may arise from the development and recommend appropriate mitigation measures where necessary.


7.3    Baseline Conditions


The baseline review is presented in full in Part 1, Section 4.6 of this EIA Report and summarised here.  The Marine Archaeological Investigation Report is presented in Annex G.


7.3.1    Literature


Although the baseline review of the literature found that the East of Sha Chau Study Area has potential for underwater cultural heritage sites, no sites of historical or archaeological significance were identified from the literature, or the charts of the East of Sha Chau Study Area.

Evaluation of Geophysical Survey([1])


A review of the data, maps and figures for the East of Sha Chau Survey Area (see Annex G Figure 3.1) by a marine archaeologist, Mr William Frederick Jeffery, verified the conclusions of the geophysicists that the seabed contained only natural or dumped materials (Annex G).  The Survey Area had been greatly impacted by anchoring, trawling and dredging and the likelihood of it containing any well-preserved remains is very minimal.  While the potential for well-preserved remains greatly increased below the seabed, no evidence of archaeological material below the seabed at East of Sha Chau Survey Area could be found.


7.4    Marine Archaeological Impact Assessment


7.4.1    Impact Assessment


The review of charts, literature of the Study Area and supplemented by a review of Geophysical Survey data at East of Sha Chau Survey Area failed to locate any evidence of marine archaeological interest.  Therefore, no impact on any marine archaeological deposit arising from the construction of the Mud Disposal Facility is expected based on the understanding that only the Survey Area would potentially impacted by the proposed development. 


7.5    Conclusions


The review of the literature indicated that the region adjacent to the East of Sha Chau Facility had been occupied for over 4,000 years and had been a focal point for Chinese and international maritime trade.  On this basis there is the potential to include sites and objects of archaeological and historical significance; however, a review of charts identified no shipwreck records.

Geophysical survey findings indicated that the area has been heavily disturbed by anchoring, trawling and dredging.  The likelihood of the area containing any well-preserved remains is considered minimal. 

No cultural heritage resources were found below the seabed in the East of Sha Chau Facility from the review of geophysical survey data.  No marine archaeological resources were identified at the site of the East of Sha Chau Facility and hence the proposed development will impose no impact to marine archaeological resources.


([1])     The Survey Area covers the area potentially impacted by the proposed development