Ferry Bridge is the sea gateway to the Fleet Lagoon and can be dived at slack.
As a dive site Ferry Bridge is only important for making observations at the entrance of The Fleet where the Lagoon connects via this narrow channel to Portland Harbour.
The Fleet is an important area for wildlife and has received the following designations:
* Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
* Special Protection Area (SPA) under the EU Birds Directive
* A Ramsar site
* Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
* Designated bass nursery area
* A March 2007 list of Rare and Endangered Plants of the Fleet can be found online
* For information on crustacea visit the Fleet Lagoon Crustacea List
* Fleet Lagoon Fishes List gives full information on fishes in the lagoon
A 2007 English Nature report by Victoria Copley (The South Dorset Coast Maritime Natural Area) emphasises that the Fleet Lagoon's links with Portland Harbour and the open sea of Weymouth Bay must not be underestimated, saying the Fleet and Portland Harbour should be managed as an ecological unit.
Considering that it's primarily the waters of Portland Harbour, Weymouth Bay and Chesil Beach affecting the Fleet, our monitoring of conditions inside and outside the harbour as well as on Chesil Beach are inherently important for the monitoring of the Fleet itself.
If you are further interested in the Fleet and our monitoring of underwater changes in the Lagoon you can now:
Download a Detailed Report on Chesil and The Fleet (168 pages Adobe pdf format) prepared by the Marine Biological Association by clicking on its title link.
This 13.1 km (8.2 miles) long lagoon covering an area of 480 hectares is believed to have been formed when Chesil Beach moved onshore as the sea levels rose. It has evolved over some 5000 years by impoundment of marine waters behind the shingle storm ridge of Chesil Beach. The lagoon is approximately 900m wide at its broadest point and has a minimum width of 65m at the "Narrows" where strong tidal currents retain an opening to the sea. Most of the upper Fleet above the "Narrows" is less than 2m deep and its deepest part is in the lower Fleet where depths range up to 4-6m under Ferry Bridge. The Fleet connects to the sea (via Portland Harbour) only through the narrow channel at Ferry Bridge. The Fleet may also receive sea water by percolation through Chesil and receives fresh water through a number of small streams from the surrounding land. (Sources: UK Marine SACs Project and Chickerell Bioacoustics).
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