The principal objectives of the study were to:
•Undertake marine geophysical surveys, utilising multibeam, sidescan sonar and sub-bottom seismic reflection I systems, and sediment, benthic fauna and video surveys using grabs, trawls, dredges and cameras
Through co-operation with other organisations, actively seek to include within the study any multibeam, geo-| physical and biological data within the Outer Bristol Channel
•Integrate new and archive geophysical, geological and biological survey data to produce comprehensive inter-| pretations of marine species, habitats and biodiversity distributions within the study area
•Provide geophysical, geological and biological data as baseline criteria for the sustainable development of seabed resources including fisheries, aggregates and offshore renewable energy, and to inform the planning and regu-latory process with regard to marine conservation, and national and EU legislation.
In addition to providing data and interpretations through maps, reports and scientific publicatíons, the project aimed to make its results available to a wider audience through a bilingual multìmedia CD-ROM, web pages, museum exhibition, and outreach awareness sessions at schools, colleges, societies and interest groups.
The study began in June 2003 and was completed in March 2006. Dissemination to the wider public, young and old, began in April 2005. This included not only the results of the study, but also basic generic ínformation on the sea bed — including how we investigate it, what it is made of, what lives there, how we use its resources, how we protect it, and why the sustainable use of natural resources is important.