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Latest Environment Stories
Kaitlyn Dow's self-built vessel Lancer made landfall in Connemara on Saturday 17 September
Coastal Notes
#Unmanned - Following our previous alert for an unmanned yacht off the Galway coast, the mini-yacht has been found after making landfall. Kaitlyn Dow's self-built vessel Lancer was launched off the US coast four months ago as part of a…
Coral reef in Florida
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Biotechnology ERA-NET will hold a stakeholder meeting, coinciding with the launch of the recently completed European Marine Biotechnology Research and Innovation Roadmap, on 12-14 October 2016 at the Hotel Marivaux in Brussels. The stakeholder meeting builds…
Trump International Golf Links & Hotel at Doonbeg, Co Clare
Coastal Notes
#Doonbeg - Donald Trump's plans for a defensive sea wall at his Doonbeg golf resort face renewed protest via an international social media campaign, as The Irish Times reports. #NatureTrumpsWalls is the name of the campaign run in tandem by…
St John's Point Lighthouse in Co Down
Lighthouses
#Lighthouses - Guardian travel writer Yvonne Gordon was impressed by a recent visit to St John’s Point Lighthouse in Co Down, part of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland tourism initiative launched last year. In operation since the Victorian era, the…
A great white shark scavenging in South Africa
Surfing
#Surfing - An Irishman has been praised for his heroism after saving his best friend from an attack by a great white shark in Australia just over a year ago. As Independent.ie reports, Shane de Roiste leapt into action when…
Dublin Port – public appreciation and understanding of the port has diminished and there is a plan to restore it. Listen to the podcast below
Island Nation
This week on my podcast, I focus on what Dublin is doing about its waterfront. This follows on my last podcast about the lack of attention by many of the country’s towns and cities to their waterfronts and why they…
The project involved the fitting of four 50kWp Solar PV panel arrays to the roofs of terminal buildings, garage and shore shop as above
Coastal Notes
#SolarPort - As part of a drive to become the world’s greenest ferry operator, Stena Line has just delivered an innovative solar project at its Port of Holyhead in Wales.  The project involved the fitting of four 50kWp Solar PV…
The imposing Dún Briste sea stack at Downpatrick Head, Co Mayo
Coastal Notes
#SeaStack - A famous sea stack off the Co Mayo coast has been climbed for the first time in more than 25 years, as Independent.ie Travel reports. At the end of August, Iain Miller and his climbing partner Paulina Kaniszewska…
Bobby Kerr visits a business on Upper Lough Erne while filming UTV Ireland's Along Home Shores
Maritime TV
#OnTV - ​Filming has commenced for the new UTV Ireland programme Along Home Shores. ​​The eight-part TV series is focusing on the waterways of Ireland, with each show examining inland, coastal and offshore lives in a different region of the…
Primary Schools' Marine Education Programme Expands
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute’s Explorers Education Programme is growing and is now available in Galway, Clare, Mayo, Cork and Waterford, delivered by centres including Galway Atlantaquaria, Loop Head Summer Hedge School, Redrose Developments, Lifetime Lab and Oceanic Surf School…
Applications Open To Marine Researchers For Fulbright-Marine Institute Award
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Fulbright Commission and the Marine Institute are offering a unique opportunity for an Irish PhD candidate or scholar to travel to the US to research in the fields of marine science or marine-related business sector. The commission…
The previous location of the weather station in Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Weather
#Weather - The Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company advises of a new location for the harbour's weather station, which had been inactive since 6 June this year. Live weather data can now again be found on www.dlhweather.com (times given in GMT).
Sir Ernest Shackleton – sculpture unveiled
Seascapes
Hello and welcome aboard your maritime programme Seascapes, this week we bring you highlights from the unveiling of a fine sculture by Mark Richards in Athy, Co Kildare on the centenary to the day of the rescue of the Endurance…
In July 2016, in separate cases, three dead dolphins were found on the south-west coast of Ireland in the space of one week, one with a rope around its tail
Marine Wildlife
Seán Kelly MEP (Ireland South) is calling for regular on-board inspections of supertrawlers fishing off the Irish coast to ensure that they are fully compliant with the EU Common Fisheries Policy, following a reported rise in dolphin deaths. The Fine…
Ocean Warming Poses Threat To Marine Wildlife & Food Chain
Marine Wildlife
#OceanWarming - Warming oceans are not only throwing marine ecosystems into disarray, but are also encouraging the spread of water-borne bacteria and viruses around the world, a new study warns. The Irish Examiner reports on new findings from the International…
Inishbofin Harbour
Island News
#Inishbofin - Archaeologists say a decorated stone found recently on Inishbofin was once part of a 'lost' castle stronghold of Connemara's 'pirate queen' Grace O'Malley, as The Irish Times reports. References to two castles held by the O'Malley clan on…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

One of the greatest memories of any day spent boating around the Irish coast is an encounter with Marine Wildlife. It's a thrill for young and old to witness seabirds, seals, dolphins and whales right there in their own habitat. And as boaters fortunate enough to have experienced it will testify, even spotting a distant dorsal fin can be the highlight of any day afloat. Was that a porpoise? Was it a whale? No matter how brief the glimpse, it's a privilege to share the seas with Irish marine wildlife.

Thanks to our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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