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Latest Environment Stories
The East Coast railway between Newcastle and Wicklow town has suffered serious coastal erosion in recent years of powerful winter storms
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - Coastal defences in Wicklow suffered significant damage during last week’s Storm Angus, posing a renewed threat to the East Coast rail line, as The Irish Times reports. The Irish Sea came within metres of the busy Dublin-Wexford line…
Harland and Wolff said the wind farm structures will be as "prominent in the Belfast skyline" as their famous cranes
Power From the Sea
#H&Wcontract - A major manufacturing contract to Harland and Wolff has been secured which the company says will support 200 jobs. The BBC News writes that the "multi-million pound contract" is with wind farm developer Scottishpower Renewables. The engineering firm…
Students from Coláiste Baile Chlair at the Marine Institute’s 2016 open day
Marine Science
#MarineScience - The Marine Institute welcomed over 250 visitors to its headquarters in Oranmore for the maritime innovation agency’s annual open day on Wednesday (23 November). Organised as part of the Galway Science & Technology Festival and designed mainly for…
Dublin’s Merrion Strand is one of the areas singled out by the EPA for poor water quality caused by raw sewage discharge
News Update
#Pollution - Cork Harbour, Ringsend in Dublin and more than 40 other Irish riverside or coastal towns and cities in still fail to meet EU sewage standards, according to a damning new EPA report. RTÉ News has details of the…
The houseboat was spotted at Cross Beach on the Mullet Peninsula
Coastal Notes
#Houseboat - The Canadian houseboat that washed up on the northwest Mayo coast earlier this month could be repurposed as a tourist attraction for the region. As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the vessel drifted across the Atlantic from Newfoundland to…
Humpback whales like this one off the US coast are regular visitors to Norway’s Arctic fjords
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - A small Norwegian community in the Arctic Circle recently had a whale of a problem with their internet connection - literally. As New Scientist reports, a subsea internet cable in the Kaldfjorden north of Tromsø which should have…
Common seal pups like this one regularly strand on Irish beaches in winter but rarely with severe injuries
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The Wicklow People reports that a six-week-old common seal is being treated for suspected stab wounds after being found in “very shape” by people walking on Arklow’s South Beach yesterday morning (Friday 18 November). The incident is the…
Dr Peter Heffernan CEO, Doug Allan (centre) with Marine Institute CEO Dr Peter Heffernan (left) and chairman Dr John Killeen
Marine Photo
#DougAllan - Multiple Emmy and BAFTA award-winning wildlife cameraman and photographer Doug Allan visited the Marine Institute on Wednesday (16 November) to share his remarkable insight and deep understanding of marine mammals. Having qualified as a marine biologist, Allan now…
Inis Mór is the largest of the Aran Islands
Island News
#AranIslands - Inis Mór residents have a guaranteed ferry service for two more weeks pending talks over the operator’s planned withdrawal from the island till spring. Island Ferries Teo confirmed to Galway Bay FM that services from the Galway mainland…
The annual National Commemoration Seafarer's Service at City Quay, Dublin to be held this month (see below services also in Dun Laoghaire and Cork)
Coastal Notes
#Commemorations – The annual National Commemoration Service for Irish Seafarers in Dublin on Sunday, 20th November will notably be followed on the same day with an Ecumenical Service held in the National Maritime Museum, Dun Laoghaire. The annual service is hosted…
Recent research awards through the H2020 SME Instrument include Kerry based Brandon Products Ltd. for a blue biotechnology solution for bio oil production; Connemara based EireComposites for a project to develop develop smart, efficient tidal-turbine blades and offshore wind-turbine blade structures at an affordable cost; and Dare Technology based at the IMERC cluster in Cork.
Marine Science
A number of Irish marine businesses have been successful in winning EU research funding to develop disruptive technologies that will help achieve energy and food security, key societal challenges in the EU's research and innovation programme Horizon 2020 (H2020). Recent…
The houseboat was spotted at Cross Beach on the Mullet Peninsula
Coastal Notes
#Houseboat - Just days after reports of fatty balls on Mayo beaches comes word of a houseboat that’s washed up on the county's northwest coast after crossing the Atlantic from Canada. RTÉ News reports that the houseboat was set to be…
In April 1916 the S.S. Tynwald transported the Sherwood Foresters Regiment to Kingstown Harbour
Coastal Notes
#1916rising – A 1916 Easter Rising maritime themed exhibition entitled ‘Portals of Unpreparedness’ was launched today (14 November) in the Dun Laoghaire Lexicon Library. The exhibition focuses on the arrival on the morning of 26th April 1916 of the Sherwood…
The Irish organisation received their award from San Diego-based non-profit industry association The Maritime Alliance (TMA) at the annual Blue Tech & Blue Economy Summit in San Diego
Marine Science
The Marine Institute and IMERC have been presented with the International Maritime Partner award by the Maritime Alliance. The Irish marine science organisation received their award from San Diego-based non-profit industry association The Maritime Alliance (TMA) at the annual Blue…
A new Lough Derg Canoe Trail will be established in 2017 on Ireland's third biggest lake
Canoeing
Canoe facilities and services blocks are being provided at various locations around Lough Derg as part of a new inland waters initiative aimed at promoting water-based activities on Ireland’s third largest lake. Clare County Council has confirmed that the proposed…
Cross Beach on the Mullet Peninsula, where locals say they discovered the fatty globules in recent weeks
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - Dog walkers have been warned to keep their pets away from smelly, fatty globules that have washed up on the North Mayo coast in recent weeks, as The Irish Times reports. One woman on the Mullet Peninsula says…

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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