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Displaying items by tag: Community Water Development Fund

Local communities involved in improving water quality in coastal areas, lakes, rivers and streams have been awarded grant aid amounting to €523,000.

A total of 142 individual grants were approved by Minister for Housing and Local Government Darragh O’Brien through the Community Water Development Fund.

Types of projects approved include:

River and habitat enhancement work, such as planting of native tree species and hedgerows, pollinator friendly planting, river-bank stabilisation, fencing and installation of riparian buffer zones;

Match funding for large LEADER funded projects with water quality and biodiversity elements;

Preparation of local plans such as feasibility studies, habitat management plans, ecological surveys, and biodiversity action plans;

Awareness raising initiatives such as river clean ups, biodiversity information boards, citizen science workshops, outdoor classrooms, rainwater harvesting, and enhancement of wetlands.

The fund is administered by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), which was introduced in 2018.

The number of applications received by LAWPRO has increased steadily since the grant scheme began, with twice the amount received for the grant money available, O’Brien’s department said.

LAWPRO director Anthony Coleman said the standard of applications was very high this year.

“We were delighted to see the scale of ambition and enthusiasm from local activists throughout the country,” he said.

“ Congratulations to those great projects who have been awarded a grant and to those who were not successful this time,” he said.

“ I would encourage you to maintain contact with your local Community Water Officer, to keep developing new proposals and projects, and to apply when the next round of funding is available,” he said.

Minister of State for Planning and Local Government Kieran O’Donnell welcomed the collaborative approach led by the department, LAWPRO, and all 31 local authorities, along with relevant State agencies, other stakeholders and local communities.

He said they have a “shared goal of meeting the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive to have all natural waters at a good standard by 2027”.

“This year, we’ve seen Tidy Towns committees, community groups, scouts and GAA clubs awarded funding through this scheme to make improvements to their local waters, and it’s heartening to see such strong representation from throughout all of our local authorities,” he said.

This year, an additional €20,000 was awarded as part of the Blue Dot Catchments Programme.

The Blue Dot Award for 2023 was shared between two groups; IRD Duhallow in Co Cork and Camross Tidy Towns, Co Laois.

Blue Dots are catchments which are mostly unpolluted and contain Ireland’s best-quality waters.

Full details of grants awarded are available online at and

Published in Marine Wildlife

Marine Wildlife Around Ireland 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. 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 the location of our beautiful little island, perched in the North Atlantic Ocean there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe.

From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals this page documents the most interesting accounts of marine wildlife around our shores. We're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and youtube clips.

Boaters have a unique perspective and all those who go afloat, from inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing that what they encounter can be of real value to specialist organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) who compile a list of sightings and strandings. The IWDG knowledge base has increased over the past 21 years thanks in part at least to the observations of sailors, anglers, kayakers and boaters.

Thanks to the IWDG work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. Here's the current list: Atlantic white-sided dolphin, beluga whale, blue whale, bottlenose dolphin, common dolphin, Cuvier's beaked whale, false killer whale, fin whale, Gervais' beaked whale, harbour porpoise, humpback whale, killer whale, minke whale, northern bottlenose whale, northern right whale, pilot whale, pygmy sperm whale, Risso's dolphin, sei whale, Sowerby's beaked whale, sperm whale, striped dolphin, True's beaked whale and white-beaked dolphin.

But as impressive as the species list is the IWDG believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves keep a sharp look out!