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Latest Environment Stories
On the May Bank Holiday Monday, artist Sheelagh Broderick is holding a public meet up on the Great South Wall for a "work in progress" review.
Dublin Port
#PortWalks - Download, walk & listen with the Dublin Port Walks this May Bank Holiday Monday where there is an opportunity to engage with your surroundings on a walk and through a free site specific public artwork. Port Walks is an…
Current Rathlin Island serving carferry, Canna operates the service. The Rathlin Ferry Co are to introduce the newbuild Spirit of Rathlin on completion of crew training and certification from the MCA.
Island News
#Old&Newferry – Ferry services to Rathlin Island are operating though the new carferry Spirit of Rathin built in Arklow, remains undergoing essential crew training and certification from the Maritime Coastguard Agency, writes Jehan Ashmore. The £2.8 newbuild car ferry built…
Lancer at sea in the mid Atlantic
Marine Science
#Lancer - The Marine Institute has posted video of the successful launch of the unmanned yacht Lancer in the Atlantic this past weekend. The miniature marine research vessel was released from the RV Celtic Explorer on Saturday 22 April in…
Dublin Bay which is designated as a UNESCO Biosphere that highlights the important relationship between people and wildlife
Dublin Bay
#BiosphereTours – Dublin Bay Biosphere Guided Tours begin today from Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Dublin and Howth and on every Wednesday until 14 June, writes Jehan Ashmore. Dublin Bay which is internationally recognised for its wealth of marine wildlife and cultural…
Skellig Michael as seen in the trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi
Island News
#SkelligMichael - Skellig Michael’s opening for summer visitors on 14 May has been cast into doubt by concerns over of a number of unstable large rocks following a rockfall discovered earlier this month. Safety contractors and OPW staff are currently…
Enjoy the fun and events of the Great Lighthouses of Ireland Shine A Light festival on the May Bank Holiday. See participating Lighthouses below that include Fanad, Co. Donegal
Lighthouses
#LighthouseFestival - Next weekend is the time... to kick start the Summer with the Great Lighthouses of Ireland May Bank Holiday Festival (29 April – 1 May). Meet our Lighthouse StoryKeepers, enjoy all things maritime from crafts, technology, food and…
Bantry Bay Residents Speak Out Over Seaweed Harvesting Licence
Coastal Notes
#CoastalNotes - While Bantry Bay prepares to open up as a maritime hub for Ireland’s South West, local coastal residents are expressing concern over the first State licence for the mechanical harvesting of seaweed. As the Irish Examiner reports, Kerry-based…
New contract for H&W in offshore renewables sector secures 80 jobs
Power From the Sea
#NewContract - A new contract for Harland & Wolff is to provide parts for an off-shore windfarm off the coast of Germany — supporting 80 jobs. The Belfast Telegraph writes that the firm has been chosen by jacket foundation supplier…
East Pier, Dun Laoghaire Harbour as seen from Dalkey Quarry which was used to begin construction in 1817. Among the events of DLR Spring into Heritage are free guided walking tours of the 200 year old harbour. Beyond are the lighthouses that mark the entrance to Dublin Port.
Dublin Bay
#DLRHeritage - Easter is over but there’s plenty more to do with this year’s Spring into Heritage (28 April-18 June) programme organised by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council. Beginning next Monday, the DLR Heritage programme offers a variety of events and…
Méabh Ní Ghionnáin from Droim, Leitir Móir, Galway met with the Marine Institute’s scientists and crew on the RV Celtic Explorer
Marine Science
Méabh Ní Ghionnáin from Droim, Leitir Móir, Galway met with the Marine Institute’s scientists and crew on the RV Celtic Explorer today on her 9th birthday (18th April) to see the loading of the 1 ½ metre Lancer unmanned sailboat…
The as-yet-unnamed baby Atlantic cownose ray at Bray’s National Sea Life aquarium
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - Bray’s National Sea Life aquarium has announced the birth of Ireland’s first tropical stingray, as TheJournal.ie reports. The junior Atlantic cownose ray was born a month ago but staff at the North Co Wicklow marine wildlife centre wanted…
New Waters & Communities Awards For Tidy Towns 2017
Inland Waterways
#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has partnered with Inland Fisheries Ireland and Local Authority Waters and Communities Office to create a new Tidy Towns Special Award for 2017. The Waters and Communities Award and has been established to recognise communities who…
Waterville in Co Kerry
Aquatic Tourism
#Tourism - Waterville Lakes and Rivers Trust is hosting an information event on opportunities in angling tourism for business owners and the public in Waterville and surrounding areas later this month. The event, which takes place at The Sea Lodge…
Skellig Michael off Co Kerry
Island News
#IslandNews - A serious rockfall on Skellig Michael has been described as “deeply worrying” by a senior conservationist. RTÉ News reports that the rockfall was discovered during pre-season checks by OPW staff last Friday (7 April), close to accommodation huts…
The proposed mixed development in Bulloch Harbour, Dalkey that was refused planning permission in February. DLRCoCo are considering to bring lands at the scenic south Dublin Bay into public ownership.
Coastal Notes
#BullochPublic - In a move being considered by Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, the local authority could bring land at Bulloch Harbour in Dalkey into public ownership. The decision reports DublinLive, would also see the land developed in the public’s interest,…
Humpback whales like this one off the US coast are regular visitors to Irish waters
Marine Wildlife
#MarineWildlife - The first humpback whale sighting for the new season in Irish waters was made last week off the Beara Peninsula. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) Patrick Lyne was in prime position to witness the unmistakable tail…

For all you need on the Marine Environment - covering the latest news and updates on marine science and wildlife, weather and climate, power from the sea and Ireland's coastal regions and communities - the place to be is Afloat.ie.

Coastal Notes

The Coastal Notes category covers a broad range of stories, events and developments that have an impact on Ireland's coastal regions and communities, whose lives and livelihoods are directly linked with the sea and Ireland's coastal waters.

Topics covered in Coastal Notes can be as varied as the rare finding of sea-life creatures, an historic shipwreck with secrets to tell, or even a trawler's net caught hauling much more than just fish.

Other angles focusing the attention of Coastal Notes are Ireland's maritime museums, which are of national importance to maintaining access and knowledge of our nautical heritage, and those who harvest the sea using small boats based in harbours where infrastructure and safety pose an issue, plying their trade along the rugged wild western seaboard.

Coastal Notes tells the stories that are arguably as varied as the environment they come from, and which shape people's interaction with the natural world and our relationship with the sea.

Marine Wildlife

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. And 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 our location in the North Atlantic, there appears to be no shortage of marine life to observe. From whales to dolphins, seals, sharks and other ocean animals, the Marine Wildlife category documents the most interesting accounts around our shores. And we're keen to receive your observations, your photos, links and video clips, too!

Also valuable is the unique perspective of all those who go afloat, from coastal sailing to sea angling to inshore kayaking to offshore yacht racing, as what they encounter can be of great importance to organisations such as the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG). Thanks to their work we now know we share the seas with dozens of species who also call Ireland home. But as impressive as the list is, the experts believe there are still gaps in our knowledge. Next time you are out on the ocean waves, keep a sharp look out!

Weather

As an island in the North Atlantic, Ireland's fate is decided by Weather more so than many other European countries. When storm-force winds race across the Irish Sea, ferry and shipping services are cut off, disrupting our economy. When swollen waves crash on our shores, communities are flooded and fishermen brace for impact - both to their vessels and to their livelihoods.

Keeping abreast of the weather, therefore, is as important to leisure cruisers and fishing crews alike - for whom a small craft warning can mean the difference between life and death - as it is to the communities lining the coast, where timely weather alerts can help protect homes and lives.

Weather affects us all, and Afloat.ie will keep you informed on the hows and the whys.

Marine Science

Perhaps it's the work of the Irish research vessels RV Celtic Explorer and RV Celtic Voyager out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of Marine Science for the future growth of Ireland's emerging 'blue economy'.

From marine research to development and sustainable management, Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. Whether it's Wavebob ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration, the Marine Science category documents the work of Irish marine scientists and researchers and how they have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

Power From The Sea

The message from the experts is clear: offshore wind and wave energy is the future. And as Ireland looks towards the potential of the renewable energy sector, generating Power From The Sea will become a greater priority in the State's 'blue growth' strategy.

Developments and activities in existing and planned projects in the pipeline from the wind and wave renewables sector, and those of the energy exploration industry, point to the future of energy requirements for the whole world, not just in Ireland. And that's not to mention the supplementary industries that sea power projects can support in coastal communities.

Irish ports are already in a good position to capitalise on investments in offshore renewable energy services. And Power From The Sea can even be good for marine wildlife if done properly.

Aside from the green sector, our coastal waters also hold a wealth of oil and gas resources that numerous prospectors are hoping to exploit, even if people in coastal and island areas are as yet unsure of the potential benefits or pitfalls for their communities.

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