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Duncannon Beach ‘Blue Flag’ Scheme Launches In Wexford

29th January 2019
Minister of State Andrew Doyle launching the new locally led Blue Flag recovery scheme in Duncannon Minister of State Andrew Doyle launching the new locally led Blue Flag recovery scheme in Duncannon

#CoastalNotes - A new locally led scheme for the recovery and long-term retention of Duncannon Beach’s Blue Flag status has been launched in Co Wexford.

The Duncannon Blue Flag Farming and Communities Scheme is a European Innovation Project (EIP) funded by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine that will deal with pollution from both agricultural and domestic sources.

The project is one of 23 EIPs or locally led schemes funded by the department under the current Rural Development Programme.

The Duncannon Blue Flag Farming and Communities Scheme has been allocated €550,000 to improve the bacterial quality of the two coastal streams that flow onto Duncannon Beach, which has steadily improved its bathing water quality from ‘sufficient’ in 2016 to ‘good’ in 2017 in the EPA’s most recent Bathing Water Quality in Ireland report.

The scheme applies the Water Framework Directive principles of Integrated Catchment Management whereby a range of pollution sources are considered in unison for multiple benefits in an integrated, holistic manner.

Speaking at the launch, Andrew Doyle, Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, said: “One of the objectives of this scheme is to generate a greater sense of local ownership, responsibility and appreciation for the local water environment in the Duncannon area.

“Its implementation will, through the co-operation of all local stakeholders, ultimately bring about improved water quality and a better environment in this area.”

The operational group for the project is representative of a number of stakeholders and is led by Wexford County Council. It also includes personnel from Teagasc, local agricultural consultants, Glanbia, Bord Bia, the local farming community and the IFA.

“This is exactly the type of scheme that was envisaged when my department chose to drive the EIP initiative under the current Rural Development Programme,” said Minister Doyle. “It complements extremely well the many other water quality improvement projects which my department is supporting.

“As with all EIP projects, the knowledge from this project will be shared, through the EIP network, with similar communities throughout Ireland and will help to improve water quality in other sensitive catchments areas.”

A total of €59 million is being made available for EIP projects by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine. €24m of this is allocated to smaller EIP projects chosen by a competitive Open Call process. Another €35m is available for the hen harrier and freshwater pearl mussel projects.

Published in Coastal Notes Team

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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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