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Latest Environment Stories
Sleek Profile: LÉ Róisín is open to public guided tours this August Bank Holiday Weekend while the OPV is berthed at Rathmullan Pier, Lough Swilly in Co. Donegal
#NavalService - L.E. Róisín, leadship of a pair of 'Róisín' or OPV80 class offshore patrol vessels will be open to the public in Co. Donegal this August Bank Holiday weekend. The OPV is berthed at Rathmullan Pier, Lough Swilly where…
Photo montage illustrating the layout of the new cycle and walking route
#Coastal - Planning permission has been granted for a new coastal cycle and walking path between Baldoyle and Portmarnock, as The Irish Times reports. The new 1.8km path, which has much local support, will take cyclists off a narrow country…
ACT Blade uses technology developed by AMAR Azure for its racing yacht sails
#SeaPower - Edinburgh-based ACT Blade has designed a textile blade for wind turbines that could increase energy production by nearly 10%. The company, an offshoot of racing yacht sail specialist AMAR Azure, designed the blade as part of the Offshore…
This whale tale sighting was no fluke for the Nationwide team that went to sea with Cork Whale Watch this past May
#OnTV - Be sure to tune in to RTÉ One’s Nationwide tomorrow evening (Monday 30 July) for a special feature on whale watching and the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s (IWDG) conservation and research work. RTÉ filmed with IWDG sightings…
Rockabill Island off the Dublin Coast
“One good Tern deserves another,” I was told in a discussion during the past week about the increasing importance of Dublin Bay in marine conservation terms – around the same time as Dublin Port announced that it was not going…
Sea Tech Marine Broadband Transmission Set for World Record Books
A scientific experiment, conducted by SEA-Tech a Cork based SME, under the control of a group of reputable witnesses composed of maritime professionals and researchers is set to enter the record books. The purpose of the experiment was to set…
Waterways Ireland Welcomes Launch Of National Greenways Strategy
#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland has welcomed last week’s launch of the National Greenways Strategy by Tourism Minister Shane Ross. The strategy sets out how national and regional greenways in Ireland should be planned and constructed, and is backed by a…
Scientists discover rare 'sponge reef' some 300 miles in Ireland's territorial waters in addition to new corals
#MarineWildlife - Marine scientists have found new discoveries after returning to Galway Port, having spent three weeks at sea investigating Ireland's deep ocean territory 300 miles off the west coast. The deep sea expedition involved the Marine Institute's remotely operated…
Pile driving has been completed in Schull for the new North Harbour pontoon
Piledriving for Schull Harbour's new North Harbour pontoon is finished and the new pontoons are to be floated into position this week writes Bob Bateman.  A crane is now on site to lift the walkway into position. As Afloat.ie reported previously, the…
Smoke from the dune fire blows over the car park at Curracloe beach this afternoon
#Fire - A number of fire brigade units worked together to bring a blaze in the dunes at Curracloe beach in Co Wexford earlier today, Sunday 22 July. According to TheJournal.ie, the flames were at some points reaching 10 feet…
The Siem Stingray will carry out August’s deep water surveys and other works on the Corrib pipeline
#MarineNotice - Shell E&P Ireland Limited has begun a campaign of inspection of the Corrib Gas Field pipeline and associated infrastructure with repair and maintenance as required. Engineering tasks are also scheduled for well P3. The near shore pipeline inspection…
A pilot cutter Afloat adds is underway having set off from Milford Haven, south Wales where the waterway will be at the centre of the 'Haven of Heritage' event next week.
#Ports&Shipping - Learn about the rich maritime heritage of the Milford Haven Waterway in south Wales in addition to surrounding towns that will be showcased during a unique event next week, on Thursday 26 July.  To celebrate Visit Wales’ ‘Year…
Rounding the Fastnet Rock, is part of regatta weeks in West Cork
Schull Regatta is among some 18 coastal community projects across County Cork from Baltimore to Fountainstown will benefit from €241,100 in funding this year. Another beneficiary is Passage West Maritime Museum that has received €18,555 for the redevelopment of the…
Grants For More Than 100 Additional Fisheries Local Action Group Projects
#Fishing - Marine Minister Michael Creed has announced details of grants worth €1.5 million under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) to more than 100 coastal-based projects. The grants support a total investment of €2.4 million in these additional…
The estuary of Milford Haven where the south Wales port holds its annual consultative meeting later this month. Afloat adds beyond the Cleddau Bridge and on the left is Irish Ferries Rosslare route cruiseferry Isle of Inishmore berthed in Pembroke Dock.
#Ports&Shipping - An invitation to members of the public and the business community has been made to attend the Port of Milford Haven’s Annual Consultative Meeting later this month. The event is taking place at the Bridge Innovation Centre in…
RIB City – Baltimore is proving a popular place for pleasure boaters to hang out thanks to the new pontoon facilities installed.
Baltimore Harbour's new landing pontoon and gangway to aid boating visitors and aquatic tourism are proving very popular as our photos by Michael Chester from the West Cork Harbour reveal. RIBS have proliferated like chickweed around the coast over the last decade…

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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