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Displaying items by tag: Waterways Ireland

The Shannon Navigation plays hosts to some 8,400 boats, according to the draft tourism masterplan currently open for public consultation.

And the figure of predominantly private leisure vessels far exceeds the number of berthing spaces, which total 4,500 across 58 locations on the inland waterways between Limerick and Lough Allen.

“While the demand for mooring outweighs supply, there are variations across the navigation in the levels of demand,” the draft adds.

It goes on to state that lock passage data implies an increase of 2,800 boat passages — from 42,700 to 45,500 — in the five years between 2014 to 2018.

And it also suggests a review of shore-based service block provision to take account of customer requirements and consider the use of ‘smart’ technologies to enhance their experience.

The Draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan is a joint initiative of Waterways Ireland and Fáilte Ireland and is part of an 18-month strategy to develop tourism along the Shannon corridor over the next decade to 2030.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the consultation will continue amid the latest Covid-19 restrictions, with stakeholders encouraged to engage online.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and users of Ireland’s inland waterways that the following closures are in place as of midnight last night, Monday 30 March:

  • All locks on all navigations are closed until further notice.
  • All service blocks are closed until further notice.
  • The Winter Mooring period on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway has been extended until Thursday 30 April. There will be no additional cost for this extension.

Waterways Ireland is encouraging all users of vessels on its navigations not to take part in any activity on the water in order to comply with the directions of both the Irish and British Governments.

Towpaths remain open but Waterways Ireland is encouraging locals who live in their vicinity to use them in accordance with Government guidelines for brief physical exercise, within 2km of their home, always observing social distancing protocols.

Where towpaths are likely to be busy, users are asked to restrict use, where possible, and only use those towpaths which are local, quiet and largely free of moored vessels.

Waterways Ireland confirms that operational staff, water patrollers and lock keepers will continue to undertake essential management of water levels, and any emergency works that may arise, under strict social distancing protocols.

In a statement, Waterways Ireland said: “We are aware of the potential impacts for the community of these decisions, and the difficulties this may present. At this time we would normally see the season kicking off and people de-winterising their craft and finishing off maintenance to be ready to get out on the water.

“These measures are being taken to support the national effort in keeping people safe, protecting our staff, colleagues, partners and everyone who visits, or lives on and around our canals and river navigations. We will continually review such measures in light of direction and advice from Government and health professionals and any decisions on service provision will be communicated.”

In the meantime, work continues on Waterways Ireland’s Heritage Plan 2016-2020, as well as the cross-border body’s Learning Zone online portal to assist families home schooling. Waterways Ireland can be contacted by email at [email protected] or by phone.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all Masters of vessels and water users of the following access to navigations and availability of services until further notice:

  • All service blocks are closed until further notice (Ref MN 23 of 2020)
  • Water, electricity and pump outs are being re-connected – this is an evolving process as flood levels recede and resources allow (Ref MN 21 of 2020).
  • Lock & bridge passage is available on the Shannon Navigation from 9.00 am to 12.30 on weekdays and 10.00 am to 12.30 pm on Sundays – where possible please advise lock keeper in advance (Ref MN 21 of 2020).
  • As the Waterway Patrollers on the Shannon-Erne Waterway will not be at work to provide support to boaters, the lock operation systems will be switched off. Vessels will therefore not be able to make any lock passages.
  • The Grand Canal, Royal Canal and the Barrow Navigational locks will be operating under reduced hours of opening.
  • Boat passage in and out of Dublin is postponed until further notice (Ref MN 26 of 2020).
  • There are no restrictions on the Erne Navigation.
  • As the lock-keepers on Lower Bann will not be at work, vessels will not be able to pass through the locks on the Lower Bann.
  • The Winter Mooring period on the Shannon Navigation and Shannon Erne Waterway has been extended until 30 April 2020. There will be no additional cost for this extension (Ref MN 114 of 2019).

The network of canals, towpaths, docks and river navigations managed by Waterways Ireland remain open, but we are strongly encouraging people to stay local, and strictly observe social distancing measures. We are asking our users not to congregate, to keep moving, and allow ample space for others to pass in accordance with social distancing.

Waterways Ireland is encouraging all Masters of vessels and water users on all navigations to continue to follow the guidelines which have been provided by the health authorities.

Waterways Ireland thanks all vessel owners and operators for their co-operation in relation to this matter.

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

Waterways Ireland has issued notice to masters and owners of vessels that boat passage into or out of Dublin on the Grand Canal and Royal Canal will be postponed until further notice.

This postponement also applies to bookings for Newcomen Bridge passage on the Royal Canal.

The cross-border body for Ireland’s inland waterways adds that navigations elsewhere are generally remaining open for boats.

Albert Lock and the Jamestown Canal on the Shannon Navigation recently reopened after lock gate replacement works and the easing of flooding issues.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises masters and owners of vessels on the Shannon Navigation that Albert Lock has been reopened to navigation following successful replacement of lock gates.

In addition, the Jamestown Canal in Co Roscommon where the lock is located has also been reopened to navigation following a lowering of flood levels.

All other inland waterways facilities currently closed following on from the recent and ongoing flood event will remain closed until further notice.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users that inland waterways facilities that are currently closed following on from the recent and ongoing flood event will remain closed until further notice.

The locks and bridge opening times on the Shannon Navigation will remain at winter opening times until Friday 29 March. Lock and bridge opening times will remain as weekdays from 9am to 12.30pm and Sundays from 10am to 12.30pm.

Waterways Ireland is also encouraging all masters of vessels and water users on all navigations to continue to follow the guidelines which have been provided by the health authorities regarding the COVID-19 outbreak.

In other news, the Green E Buoy at Goat Island on Lough Derg is now back on station.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users that the flood levels are receding on the Shannon, Erne, Barrow and Lower Bann inland waterways.

Operations staff are now preparing the jetties, quays, slipways and facilities for reactivation as the floods recede.

It is anticipated that it will take up to three weeks for all jetties, quays, slipways and facilities to be fully operational.

Masters of vessels and water users should be aware that surfaces may be slippery, access to jetties can be difficult as gangways and pontoons are elevated, and flood damage may be encountered in some locations.

All should proceed with additional caution while the clean-up work is ongoing.

Published in Inland Waterways

Waterways Ireland has been urged to work with farmers who are facing serious flooding on the Shannon, as the agency initiates a new tourism masterplan for the river.

IFA Connacht chair Pat Murphy said that it would be a “win, win” for everyone if the State agency recognised that management of the river extended beyond the tourist market.

He was responding to yesterday’s opening of public consultation by Waterways Ireland on a new Shannon draft tourism masterplan and associated environmental report.

Waterways Ireland, Fáilte Ireland and ten local authorities are involved in the plan, stating it aims to “ reposition the combined Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne waterway as a key tourism destination within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, identifying world-class visitor experiences based on the region’s natural and cultural assets”.

The Shannon Tourism Masterplan sets out a bold and integrated framework for sustainable tourism development along the Shannon and Shannon Erne,”it says, and the public consultation is one stage in an 18-month procedure.

The draft was commissioned from SLR Consulting and partners, and consultation will be held in Northern Ireland also, with a closing date of April 22nd.

“Once the public consultation is complete, submissions will be reviewed and a final draft of the document issued,” Waterways Ireland said.

Mr Murphy said that the IFA respected Waterways Ireland’s role in tourism, and has no issue with it, but emphasised that repeated flooding of the river is a serious issue for farmers and residents along its banks.

“We call for one single authority to be responsible for Shannon management - and to be held responsible,” Mr Murphy said.

“We are not being listened to by State authorities, yet we have been calling for this for several decades,” Mr Murphy.

The IFA Connacht chair and Ardrahan farmer said he concurred with Mid-Shannon flood relief group chairman Michael Silke.

Mr Silke, whose own beef and sheep farm near Banagher on the Galway-Offaly border has been seriously flooded, said Waterways Ireland, the ESB and the Office of Public Works need to accept the reality of a “crisis”.

He said the agencies have to work together and said this has to be an absolute priority for a new government.

“Outgoing Minister of State for the OPW Kevin “Boxer” Moran did his best, but this has to come from the top,” Mr Silke said.

Mr Silke has proposed that the river could be naturally diverted onto bogland which could provide a natural sponge, while several pinch points between Athlone and Meelick could alleviate flooding.

Mr Murphy said the IFA would not like to see farmland flooded “ “but if bogs can be flooded, that could be an answer”, he said.

“Individual farmers are really suffering, and Athlone and Carrick on Shannon are at risk far more regularly, as it the environment, birds and wildlife,” Mr Murphy said.

Mr Murphy has already expressed serious concern about the mental health of some affected farmers. Some landowners have experienced flooding up to six times in the last 25 years, having been told back in the floods of 2009 that it was a “one in a hundred-year event”.

“All they really want is a small little bit of hope,” he said.

The Waterways Ireland masterplan can be viewed here

Published in Aquatic Tourism
Tagged under

Waterways Ireland has announced the opening of a public consultation on the Draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan and Environmental Report today, Wednesday 4 March.

The consultation documents will be available to the public both online and in the 10 county council offices along the Shannon and Shannon-Erne inland waterway corridors, and the consultation will remain open until Wednesday 22 April at 4pm.

The list of documents available to view are an Executive Summary, the draft Shannon Tourism Masterplan, a baseline study for the Masterplan, the Environmental Report, and AA Screen Report and Natura Impact Report.

Submissions can be made by completing an online survey. Surveys are also available at the host locations listed on the Waterways Ireland website and can be posted to Waterways Ireland’s Western Regional Office in Scariff, Co Clare.

The public consultation is also taking place in Northern Ireland, with documents available to view in the Waterways Ireland headquarters in Enniskillen. Relevant additional links include the NI Environmental Report and Habitats Regulations Assessment.

This consultation is the next stage in an 18-month process to reposition the combined Shannon Navigation and Shannon-Erne Waterway as a key tourism destination within Ireland’s Hidden Heartlands, identifying world class visitor experiences based on the region’s natural and cultural assets.

The Shannon Tourism Masterplan sets out “a bold and integrated framework for sustainable tourism development along the Shannon and Shannon-Erne”, Waterways Ireland says.

SLR Consulting and partners were commissioned to develop this Tourism Masterplan for the Shannon by Waterways Ireland in association with Fáilte Ireland and with the support of the 10 local authorities adjoining the River Shannon and Shannon Erne Waterway.

Once the public consultation is complete, submissions will be reviewed and a final draft of the document issued.

Published in Aquatic Tourism

Waterways Ireland advises all masters of vessels and water users that the Green E Buoy buoy at Goat Island on Lough Derg is off station, and to proceed with additional caution in the vicinity of the island.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 9 of 34

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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