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Latest Environment Stories
The remains of a D-Day Mulberry harbour at Arromanches, Normandy in France
#coastalnotes - With just weeks leading up to D-Day, 75 years ago, one of the operation’s crucial components was still lying on the bottom of the sea off southern England, reports The Irish Times. It comprised a vast amount of…
A salmon smolt
Research from Dr Katie Thomas of the Marine Institute has investigated the mechanisms for growth mark formation in scales of Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar Linnaeus) and the cause of variations in scale growth measurements. Dr Thomas recently graduated with her…
Rory Cahill (4) and Evelyn Cahill (6) from Dunboyne, Co Meath with a replica of a Mesolithic fish trap at the launch of Fishy Fun at the National Museum of Ireland - Natural History
Ireland’s fisheries resource is set to come alive at the Natural History Museum this summer at a free event called Fishy Fun. A range of interactive activities suitable for all the family will be part of the special one-day event…
Free diving world champion Umberto Pelizzari raises a flag below water to highlight the plight of life below water
According to the Government, as directed by the Dáil, Ireland is now in a climate emergency…added to which are biodiversity and marine eco problems… That crisis was declared within the parliamentary portals to which 158 TDs are elected to represent…
Part of the River Newport as seen after OPW flood relief works in December 2018
The Office of Public Works has been accused of showing “disdain” for Ireland’s natural heritage over flood relief works on a waterway in Co Limerick. The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) criticised the clearing last year of some 3km of wild habitat…
The IWDG yacht Celtic Mist
A group of Ireland’s environmental NGOs are teaming up this spring for a rather unique education project lead by the Irish Whale and Dolphin Group. The exciting Floating Classroom initiative is combining ocean exploration with an educational schools programme which…
Bottlenose dolphin playing with a paddleboarder in front of Dalkey Island
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council is currently carrying out a visitor survey for Dalkey Island to assist in the long-term management and protection of a key historical and ecological site in Dublin Bay. Dalkey Island, which is owned by the council,…
The first Cape Clear Island Dark Skies event takes place over the weekend of Friday to Sunday, 22 to 24th May
Cape Clear Island off the coast of West Cork is seeking to become one of only 22 Dark Sky sites worldwide officially recognised by the IDA ( International Dark Sky Association). These sites are dedicated to stargazing and are increasingly…
The Lusitania’s main telegraph was recovered in a supervised dive off Kinsale on 25 July 2017
The US businessman owner of the Lusitania wreck off the West Cork coast has gifted it to a local heritage group planning a new museum around the historic vessel, as the Irish Examiner reports. Gregg Bemis signed over the wreck…
Humpback Whales Spotted ‘Socialising’ Off West Cork In Dramatic Drone Video
Whale watchers have captured spectacular aerial video of a group of humpback whales spotted “socialising” off West Cork. The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group’s science officer Seán O’Callaghan filmed the remarkable scene last month just days after the first humpback…
Endangered species – Angel Shark
Angel shark are in such a perilous state of decline in Irish waters that a group of marine environmentalists has appealed for urgent action by Minister for Fisheries Michael Creed writes Lorna Siggins Sharks, rays and skates are the most threatened…
Final Call For Irish Ocean Literacy Network Campaign Workshop
The Irish Ocean Literacy Network (IOLN) has issued its final call for a workshop in Dublin next Tuesday 6 May on how to design and develop an environmental awareness campaign. The IOLN Design Workshop under the theme ‘We are islanders…
Galley Cove in Crookhaven, Co Cork
Ireland is a veritable bounty of beautiful beaches, as TripAdvisor’s latest list of Ireland’s best can attest. But beyond the most highly rated bathing spots around the Irish coast, there exists a number of hidden gems to attract those seeking…
A chain of salps beneath the surface of the Red Sea
Microplastic ingested by plankton may greatly impair our oceans’ natural carbon-capturing abilities, according to a new study from NUI Galway. Marine scientists at the university’s Ryan Institute found that microscopic particles of plastic waste in the world’s oceans are interfering…
The River Barrow at Bagenalstown, Co Carlow
Proposals for a new blueway along the River Barrow have been blocked by planners who objected to the scheme for a hard surface along the 115km of towpath. But as The Irish Times reports, many locals and users of the…
Lough Corrib, second largest lake in Ireland after Lough Neagh, which is the focus of a new community partnership to transform it into Ireland's lake district for walkers
Oscar Wilde’s surgeon dad waxed lyrical about it, Vikings lost their weapons in it, and poitín makers and anglers have shared their knowledge of its rocks and islands. The Corrib – this island’s second largest lake after Lough Neagh –…

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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