Of these, at least 50 had crews listed as killed or missing

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Six miles off the coast of Deal in East Kent, England, seal pups frolic on the ever changing, canada goose outlet montreal intricately patterned sands that are exposed at low canada goose outlet 80 off tide. Beneath the water’s surface is a thriving ecosystem of blue mussels, sand eels and peeler crabs.

canada goose clearance sale These are canada goose outlet store toronto the Goodwin Sands, a 10 mile stretch of sandbank that has been recommended by the Wildlife Trusts as a future Marine Conservation Zone. In addition to providing a home for a wide variety of sea life, the Sands help bolster coastal protection against erosion. canada goose clearance sale

canada goose deals But they may disappear. The Dover Harbour Board wants to dredge 2.5 million tons from the Goodwin Sands as part of plans to expand the port one of Europe’s busiest and provide much needed regeneration to Dover’s seafront. canada goose deals

However, the board has met resistance. Some of that is due to environmental factors. But there is another reason, too: the Goodwin Sands are home canada goose shop uk to Britain’s largest underwater graveyard.

canadian goose jacket Hidden just beneath the water’s surface at high tide, the Sands are one of the most dangerous spots in the English Channel. During storms they can be particularly deadly. canadian goose jacket

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buy canada goose jacket cheap In late November 1703, when southern Britain saw the worst natural disaster in its history, a massive cyclone now known as canada goose outlet the Great Storm, more than 1,000 seamen died on the Goodwin Sands. buy canada goose jacket cheap

Among the many ships lost that night was HMS Stirling Castle, which was discovered by local canada goose outlet reviews divers in 1979. Since 1980, it has been a designated protected wreck under the 1973 Protection of Wrecks Act meaning access to it is restricted in order to prevent vandalism and salvage operations.

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Canada Goose online A century later, on 24 January 1809, the East India Company ship the Admiral Gardner departed from London bound for Madras. It carried a canada goose parka outlet uk cargo of iron, guns, anchors, and 48 tons of company coins currency for the workers in India. Canada Goose online

As the ship passed the coast of Kent, a fierce gale blew in. It ran aground on the Goodwin Sands along with two other East India ships that same night. Efforts canada goose outlet store calgary to save the ship were futile, although somewhat miraculously, only one life was lost.

These three East India Company ships, as well as HMS Stirling Castle, are just a few canada goose womens outlet of more than 1,000 shipwrecks buried beneath the Goodwin Sands. Some believe the number of wrecks may be as high as 2,000.

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cheap Canada Goose When the Sands were dredged in 1979 for construction at Dover Harbour, workers found East India Company coins in the material. A few years later, salvage operations at the Admiral Gardner recovered more than one million coins before the wreck was designated a protected area. canada goose outlet england There is now a 300m (985ft) exclusion zone around its remains. cheap Canada Goose

The Goodwin Sands serve as breeding grounds for the local seal population

canada goose store The canada goose outlet washington dc Dover Harbour Board says these exclusion zones will remain untouched. The dredging process will be limited to an estimated 0.22% of the total volume of the Goodwin Sands, says the board’s spokesperson Antony Greenwood. What’s more, anomalies that have been identified by archaeological surveys potentially other shipwrecks will be left untouched. canada goose store

But opponents point out that the Goodwin Sands are a closed system, meaning that the Sands canada goose outlet store uk are all one entity, constantly moving in a circular direction, with little material moving in or out. As a result, says Stephen Eades of the marine conservation nonprofit Marinet, “If they were to dredge this site, any hole will be filled by sand from elsewhere within the Goodwin Sands system, thereby exposing and damaging other sites.”

canada goose coats on sale In other words, work in one area could place the whole Sands at risk. canada goose coats on sale

View image of A local stands on Goodwin Sands in 1948

canada goose Greenwood canada goose outlet mississauga disagrees, noting that larger amounts of sand were dredged from the canada goose outlet miami area in the 1970s and again in the 1990s when construction of the Channel Tunnel was underway. These procedures appear to have done little to no damage to the Goodwin Sands though it is worth noting that detailed before and after surveys were not carried out to measure possible changes in the marine ecosystem. canada goose

Canada Goose Outlet This entire area is a collective war grave Stephen canada goose outlet authentic Eades Canada Goose Outlet

That ecosystem is another part of why campaigners are fighting against dredging. Among other canada goose sale uk things, the Goodwin Sands serve as breeding grounds for the local seal population and as a spawning site canada goose outlet eu for herring and other fish.

The Sands also provide coastal protection against erosion and flooding. A natural breaker, they absorb some of the energy from the waves that pound this part of the coast. That canada goose outlet winnipeg is particularly important to the communities of Deal and Kingsdown, where flood defences are currently under construction at a cost of almost million.

The best chance anti dredging campaigners have, though, might have nothing to do with flooding, marine animals or even shipwrecks at all. “This entire area is a collective war grave,” says Eades.

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In 2013, the last surviving Dornier World War Two bomber was raised from the Goodwin Sands, where it had canada goose uk been shot down during the Battle of Britain. The German aircraft is now undergoing restoration work at RAF Cosford.

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But canada goose factory outlet a number of World War Two planes and their crews remain buried beneath the Sands. David Brocklehurst of the Kent Battle of Britain Museum has compiled a list of 60 aircraft believed to have landed or crashed on the Goodwin Sands in 1940 alone. Of these, at least 50 had crews listed as killed or missing.

Air Force historians are double checking the accuracy of Brocklehurst’s list, which could upend the plans to dredge. Under the terms set out in The Protection of Military Remains Act (1986), it is an offence to disturb a site where there is military aircraft wreckage and likely human remains.