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Coastal Local Authorities to Attend Annual Blue Flag & Green Coast Awards Conference

4th February 2014
Coastal Local Authorities to Attend Annual Blue Flag & Green Coast Awards Conference

#blueflags – An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland and Green Coast Awards Conference isin Dublin, on 5th February. This conference will be attended by coastal Local Authority representatives as well as Blue Flag and Green Coast Award Jury members. It is expected that the devastating impact of recent storms will be discussed at the event.

Speaking about the upcoming conference Annabel FitzGerald, Coastal Programmes Manager, An Taisce said, "There are some serious concerns for some candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award beaches that have been left devastated by the recent storms particularly where infrastructure such as access roads, carparks and other amenities have been destroyed." These are among the 32 imperative criteria required to achieve Blue Flag status.

She added, "Local Authorities work tirelessly during the bathing season to ensure high standards at Ireland's awarded beaches but there is also a considerable amount of work required in advance of the bathing season as Local Authorities must adhere to strict award application procedures."

Speakers including Annabel FitzGerald (Coastal Programmes Manager, An Taisce), Bat Masterson (UCD, Blue Flag Juror), Peter Webster (EPA, Blue Flag Juror) will address delegates and lead discussions on issues relating to the Blue Flag and Green Coast Awards ahead of the 2014 bathing season. Crucial award criteria such as water quality, beach infrastructure, lifeguarding and marine litter will be discussed in detail.

Candidate Blue Flag and Green Coast Award applications are currently being prepared to present at the National and International Jury meetings. It is based on the recommendations of these jury meetings that Blue Flags and Green Coast Awards for 2014 will be awarded. It is anticipated that some Blue Flag and Green Coast applications may have to be withdrawn from the process because of the impact of recent storms the full extent of which is not yet known.

Published in Coastal Notes
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Coastal Notes Coastal Notes covers a broad spectrum of stories, events and developments in which some can be quirky and local in nature, while other stories are of national importance and are on-going, but whatever they are about, they need to be told.

Stories can be diverse and they can be influential, albeit some are more subtle than others in nature, while other events can be immediately felt. No more so felt, is firstly to those living along the coastal rim and rural isolated communities. Here the impact poses is increased to those directly linked with the sea, where daily lives are made from earning an income ashore and within coastal waters.

The topics in Coastal Notes can also be about the rare finding of sea-life creatures, a historic shipwreck lost to the passage of time and which has yet many a secret to tell. A trawler's net caught hauling more than fish but cannon balls dating to the Napoleonic era.

Also focusing the attention of Coastal Notes, are the maritime museums which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of historical exhibits for future generations.

Equally to keep an eye on the present day, with activities of existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector and those of the energy exploration industry.

In addition Coastal Notes has many more angles to cover, be it the weekend boat leisure user taking a sedate cruise off a long straight beach on the coast beach and making a friend with a feathered companion along the way.

In complete contrast is to those who harvest the sea, using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety poses an issue, before they set off to ply their trade at the foot of our highest sea cliffs along the rugged wild western seaboard.

It's all there, as Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied to the environment from which they came from and indeed which shape people's interaction with the surrounding environment that is the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

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