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Latest Environment Stories
An Environmental Report 2018 from ESPO includes The 10 Top environmental priorities of the EU port sector, so check it out! with related links below.
#Ports&Shipping- The annual Environmental Report for 2018 (download) published by the European Sea Ports Organisation (ESPO) was presented yesterday at the GreenPort Congress in Valencia, Spain. The ESPO Environmental Report includes environmental performance benchmark indicators as well as the Top 10 Environmental…
SmartBay Project Recruiting Community Liaison Co-ordinator
#Jobs - SmartBay Ireland is seeking to recruit a community liaison co-ordinator for its marine and renewable energy test site and subsea observatory in Galway Bay. The successful candidate will have a contract with SmartBay, but the focus of the…
Naomh Éanna docked in a Georgian graving dock of Dublin's Grand Canal Dock basin, is seen from the Ringsend Bridge (spanning the River Dodder). The former CIE operated Aran Islands passenger ferry cargoship (in this perspective view) is seemingly swamped by developing property under construction in Dublin's 'Docklands' quarter in the form of offices and apartments. The rare Irish (Dublin) built ship occupies one of two surviving Georgian graving docks as the largest drydock has for many years been infilled.
#HistoricBoats - Afloat has noted work has recently begun in Dublin's Grand Canal Dockyard to transform a former CIÉ Aran Islands passenger /freight ferry as previously covered into a floating 5-star luxury hotel on the Liffey, writes Jehan Ashmore. Commenting to…
Puffins and gannets are among the seabirds making their home on Ireland’s Eye
#MarineWildlife - A Howth-based ferryman fears for marine wildlife on and around Ireland’s Eye when a planned sewage outfall pipe begins discharging wastewater in the area. Ken Doyle of Ireland’s Eye Ferries tells Dublin Live that any accidental contamination of…
Wet Wipes Scourge of Irish Beaches In 2018 Coastwatch Survey
#CoastalNotes - Wet wipes are “in abundance” around the Irish coastline as the annual Coastwatch Survey draws to a close this week. According to RTÉ News, citizen science volunteers taking part in the ‘eco-audit’ of Ireland’s coasts — which has…
Exhibition: ‘SS Dundalk’ recounts tragic sinking and loss of life on the Irish Sea a century ago
#CoastalNotes - The economic, emotional and communal effects is encompassed in an exhibiton about the sinking of the SS Dundalk 100 years ago which was officially launched recently at the County Museum, Dundalk, by UK Defence Attaché, Colonel Darren Doherty.…
Proposals to move material collected during dredging at Carlingford Lough to within the bay. AFLOAT adds above cruiseship Saga Pearl II is seen off Warrenpoint Port
#Ports&Shipping - On both sides of the border, The Irish News writes campaigners are objecting to plans to deposit dredged material within Carlingford Lough, claiming it would bring nuclear substances into the bay. As covered on Afloat.ie, Warrenpoint Port is…
A photograph of Croagh Patrick and Clew Bay in Co Mayo taken from an Air Corps. Mayo Sailing Club's anemometer provides accurate wind readings on the Bay
What is the number one topic of conversation in Ireland? We all know the answer: It’s the weather. We also know that the forecasts we hear on the radio or see on the telly are, shall we say, not always…
A tug assists a tanker off a jetty on the Shannon estuary.
#ShannonEstuary - The Limerick Leader writes that an environmental NGO has secured permission to bring a High Court challenge against An Bord Pleanala's decision to extend planning permission to develop a Liquid Natural Gas (LNG) terminal on the Shannon Estuary.…
Friends of the Irish Environment says the proposed site of the Ballylongford gas terminal’s jetty is an important habitat for bottlenose dolphins like this one
#CoastalNotes - Extension of planning permission for a €500 million gas terminal at Ballylongford on the Kerry coast now faces judicial review, as Green News reports. Friends of the Irish Evironment (FiE) was granted leave in the High Court to…
Galway Hosts Public Meeting On Marine Planning Framework
Sean Kyne, Minister of State with responsibility for rural affairs and natural resources, was speaking this morning (Friday 5 October) in Galway’s Town Hall Theatre, as Galway Bay FM reports. The minister was attending one of a series of regional…
A dogfish caught on camera by the SmartBay observatory in Galway Bay
#MarineScience - More than 70 leading marine scientists from across Europe met in Galway recently to discuss open access to research on ocean observation. The Marine Institute in Oranmore hosted the second general assembly of the EU-funded Jerico-NEXT Project, which…
Th iconic Fastnet Rock Lighthouse off the south-west tip of Ireland is among many lighthouses featured in the new four-part documentary series.
#Lighthouses - Irish Lights has announced its involvement in a four-part documentary series with RTE 1 that tells the story of Ireland’s lighthouses and the associated aids to navigation network around the island of Ireland and the vital role it…
A native white-clawed crayfish
#Crayfish - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) says it welcomes new legislation to strengthen existing measures to protect the native white-clawed crayfish. The European Union (Invasive Alien Species) (Freshwater Crayfish) Regulations 2018 will provide Irish authorities with powers to prevent the…
Coonanna is a sheltered harbour north-east of Valentia Island
The death of three men whose upturned fishing boat was found off Coonanna in Co Kerry last night has “devastated” the local community, as BreakingNews.ie reports. Post-mortems will be carried out today (Monday 1 October) on the bodies of the…
RMS Leinster: Centenary events to mark the tragedy of the Irish Sea 'mail-boat' in 1918 (continue next month) notably on 10 October, when 100 years ago the ship was sunk by a German U-Boat with a major loss of life.
#RMSLeinster - Centenary events to mark the tragic sinking of RMS Leinster in the Irish Sea during WW1, continue into next month in Dun Laoghaire, notably on 10 October, the day the 'mail-boat' 100 years ago was struck by a…

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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