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Displaying items by tag: coastal protection

A study on coastal protection and flood mitigation for Ardmore Bay, Co Waterford has been approved for additional funding by the Office of Public Works (OPW).

Minister of State with responsibility for the OPW, Patrick O’Donovan, sanctioned Waterford County Council’s application for funding under the OPW’s minor flood mitigation works and coastal protection scheme.

A sum of €19,207 had been agreed to cover additional costs for a study by the Hydraulics and Maritime Research Centre UCC.

“The overall aim of this study was to investigate coastal flood and erosion risk management and develop an appropriate plan to best manage the risks identified to human health, the environment, cultural heritage and economic activity,”the OPW says.

“The study provided a baseline information on erosion and flood patterns and the effects of coastal and flood protection measures. The information gathered will be used for coastal erosion protection measures and coastal flood protection measures where necessary,”it said.

The Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme was introduced by the OPW in 2009.

It provides funding to local authorities to undertake minor flood mitigation works or studies to address localised flooding and coastal protection problems within their administrative areas.

The scheme generally applies where a solution can be readily identified and achieved in a short time frame.

Under the scheme, applications are considered for projects that are estimated to cost not more than €750,000 in each instance. Funding of up to 90% of the cost is available for approved projects.

Applications are assessed by the OPW having regard to the specific economic, social and environmental criteria of the scheme, including a cost benefit ratio.

“Works that are normally the responsibility of the local authorities will generally not be considered for OPW funding. Where such works would also mitigate the risk of flooding to properties, partial funding may be considered by OPW,”it says.

The OPW says local authorities “must be satisfied that the works will not have a significant impact on flood risk elsewhere”.

Published in Coastal Notes

#dublinbay - Rock armour delivered for the Dun Laoghaire Baths redevelopment project, has been completed, though further work on the foreshore is underway to position boulders into place, writes Jehan Ashmore.

Around 4,300 tonnes of granite which was transported by barge from Falmouth, in the UK, is to be used to provide coastal protection from erosion at the site and associated newly built jetty on Scotsman's Bay.

Coastal works involved the barge Selina which self-discharged the rocks onto the foreshore, while under the assistance of tugs Husky and MTS Indus. Originally the delivery of rocks to the site along Newtownsmith was to have taken a fortnight, however weather conditions hampered such efforts.

Barge selina rock ArmourMaking a splash - The Barge Selina deposits rock armour in Scotsman's Bay. Photo: Afloat.ie

The final load of boulders was taken from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to the neighbouring bay and on Thursday, MTS Indus towed the barge back to the Cornish port.

The jetty jutting into Scotsman's Bay at the €10m baths project developed by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, involves heavy machinery putting into place the rock armour by forming in layers. As for those lower and inner layers, they will be constructed using locally sourced granite of smaller rock sizes.

In total there is approximately 6,000 tonnes of rock armour being placed.

The public amenity will have changing areas that will provide access to the water's edge for swimmers and at the jetty, landing points for canoes, kayaks and other water sports equipment.

For further details click here on the overall project built by SIAC Construction which is due to be completed in Spring 2020.

Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) - FAQS

Marine protected areas (MPAs) are geographically defined maritime areas where human activities are managed to protect important natural or cultural resources. In addition to conserving marine species and habitats, MPAs can support maritime economic activity and reduce the effects of climate change and ocean acidification.

MPAs can be found across a range of marine habitats, from the open ocean to coastal areas, intertidal zones, bays and estuaries. Marine protected areas are defined areas where human activities are managed to protect important natural or cultural resources.

The world's first MPA is said to have been the Fort Jefferson National Monument in Florida, North America, which covered 18,850 hectares of sea and 35 hectares of coastal land. This location was designated in 1935, but the main drive for MPAs came much later. The current global movement can be traced to the first World Congress on National Parks in 1962, and initiation in 1976 of a process to deliver exclusive rights to sovereign states over waters up to 200 nautical miles out then began to provide new focus

The Rio ‘Earth Summit’ on climate change in 1992 saw a global MPA area target of 10% by the 2010 deadline. When this was not met, an “Aichi target 11” was set requiring 10% coverage by 2020. There has been repeated efforts since then to tighten up MPA requirements.

Marae Moana is a multiple-use marine protected area created on July 13th 2017 by the government of the Cook islands in the south Pacific, north- east of New Zealand. The area extends across over 1.9 million square kilometres. However, In September 2019, Jacqueline Evans, a prominent marine biologist and Goldman environmental award winner who was openly critical of the government's plans for seabed mining, was replaced as director of the park by the Cook Islands prime minister’s office. The move attracted local media criticism, as Evans was responsible for developing the Marae Moana policy and the Marae Moana Act, She had worked on raising funding for the park, expanding policy and regulations and developing a plan that designates permitted areas for industrial activities.

Criteria for identifying and selecting MPAs depends on the overall objective or direction of the programme identified by the coastal state. For example, if the objective is to safeguard ecological habitats, the criteria will emphasise habitat diversity and the unique nature of the particular area.

Permanence of MPAs can vary internationally. Some are established under legislative action or under a different regulatory mechanism to exist permanently into the future. Others are intended to last only a few months or years.

Yes, Ireland has MPA cover in about 2.13 per cent of our waters. Although much of Ireland’s marine environment is regarded as in “generally good condition”, according to an expert group report for Government published in January 2021, it says that biodiversity loss and ecosystem degradation are of “wide concern due to increasing pressures such as overexploitation, habitat loss, pollution, and climate change”.

The Government has set a target of 30 per cent MPA coverage by 2030, and moves are already being made in that direction. However, environmentalists are dubious, pointing out that a previous target of ten per cent by 2020 was not met.

Conservation and sustainable management of the marine environment has been mandated by a number of international agreements and legal obligations, as an expert group report to government has pointed out. There are specific requirements for area-based protection in the EU Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD), the OSPAR Convention, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the UN Sustainable Development Goals. 

Yes, the Marine Strategy Framework directive (2008/56/EC) required member states to put measures in place to achieve or maintain good environmental status in their waters by 2020. Under the directive a coherent and representative network of MPAs had to be created by 2016.

Ireland was about halfway up the EU table in designating protected areas under existing habitats and bird directives in a comparison published by the European Commission in 2009. However, the Fair Seas campaign, an environmental coalition formed in 2022, points out that Ireland is “lagging behind “ even our closest neighbours, such as Scotland which has 37 per cent. The Fair Seas campaign wants at least 10 per cent of Irish waters to be designated as “fully protected” by 2025, and “at least” 30 per cent by 2030.

Nearly a quarter of Britain’s territorial waters are covered by MPAs, set up to protect vital ecosystems and species. However, a conservation NGO, Oceana, said that analysis of fishing vessel tracking data published in The Guardian in October 2020 found that more than 97% of British MPAs created to safeguard ocean habitats, are being dredged and bottom trawled. 

There’s the rub. Currently, there is no definition of an MPA in Irish law, and environment protections under the Wildlife Acts only apply to the foreshore.

Current protection in marine areas beyond 12 nautical miles is limited to measures taken under the EU Birds and Habitats Directives or the OSPAR Convention. This means that habitats and species that are not listed in the EU Directives, but which may be locally, nationally or internationally important, cannot currently be afforded the necessary protection

Yes. In late March 2022, Minister for Housing Darragh O’Brien said that the Government had begun developing “stand-alone legislation” to enable identification, designation and management of MPAs to meet Ireland’s national and international commitments.

Yes. Environmental groups are not happy, as they have pointed out that legislation on marine planning took precedence over legislation on MPAs, due to the push to develop offshore renewable energy.

No, but some activities may be banned or restricted. Extraction is the main activity affected as in oil and gas activities; mining; dumping; and bottom trawling

The Government’s expert group report noted that MPA designations are likely to have the greatest influence on the “capture fisheries, marine tourism and aquaculture sectors”. It said research suggests that the net impacts on fisheries could ultimately be either positive or negative and will depend on the type of fishery involved and a wide array of other factors.

The same report noted that marine tourism and recreation sector can substantially benefit from MPA designation. However, it said that the “magnitude of the benefits” will depend to a large extent on the location of the MPA sites within the network and the management measures put in place.

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