Offshore Developments that Minimize Environmental Impact

by Charles J. Lord, (F.ASCE), Sr. Project Mgr.; Ralph M. Parsons Co., Los Angeles, CA,

Serial Information: Journal of the Construction Division, 1974, Vol. 100, Issue 2, Pg. 159-170

Document Type: Journal Paper


Offshore development, because of the physical characteristics of the offshore location, offers the potential for minimizing the adverse environmental impact of many bad neighbor developments. The separation of industry, airports, power plants, etc., from urban areas by the intervening reaches of water will effectively buffer many of these developments while permitting their construction relatively closer to the areas they serve. Potential environmental benefits include filling of unsightly swamp areas; reduced shoreline erosion; improved flushing and circulation of coastal waters; expanded marine habitat; control of urban encroachment; less costly land in some cases; large quantities of water for cooling and waste dispersion; reduced visual impact; and reduced overall negative environmental impact. Conversely, offshore developments must be carefully planned to assure minimal adverse effects from thermal pollution; destruction of valuable marine life; water, air, and noise pollution; dislocation of valuable or endangered species of wildlife; interruption of recreational uses; and despoiling of scenic beauty.

Subject Headings: Water circulation | Aquatic habitats | Thermal pollution | Air pollution | Water pollution | Environmental issues | Hydro power | Power plants

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