If oil entered the lagoons, damage to fish spawning grounds, wildfowl habitat and local commercial and subsistence enterprises could be, literally, incalculable.
It is known as a wintering site for whooper swans, which arrive from Iceland, and wildfowl such as widgeon, teal and mallard.
Many thousands of wintering wildfowl feed and roost among the country's estuaries and salt marshes.
Walkers will be on the lookout for birds such as short-eared owls, winter wildfowl and the elusive hen harrier.
They came to fetch birch bark for their canoes, chase wildfowl , fish salmons and sturgeons, but above all to catch the phenomenal quantities of eels that they smoked and stocked up for winter.
Low tide reveals mile upon mile of sandy beaches and mudflats that provide rich pickings for the thousands of wading birds and wildfowl from neighbouring Leighton Moss and other parts of the bay.
Ruddy ducks, which many say are not edible, were brought into Britain from American in 1950 and escaped into the wild from wildfowl collections.
The ducks are among hundreds of wildfowl , including moorhens, coots and Canada geese based at the university, which is famed for its natural habitat.
No wonder the North Kent Marshes is the winter home of an estimated 200,000 wildfowl and waders and that its biodiversity is regarded as being of international importance.
The Norfolk coast, renowned for its wealth of wintering wildfowl and waders, continues to attract parties of ever-elusive and enigmatic shorelarks.