Balancing project progress and limited system knowledge in Amatique Bay

The development of a new marine project demands a system approach in which all aspects, including technical, economic, environmental and social, are considered and integrated equally and at an early stage. While insufficient information may be available to make informed decisions, choices need to be made to progress a project, assess impacts and risks, and engage stakeholders. This article explores the case of a new port terminal in Amatique Bay, Guatemala. A method was developed to assess, at an early stage, the potential negative impacts on seagrass habitats from the disposal of dredged material at different locations, while having limited real-time and location-specific information at hand.