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Displaying items by tag: Clean Coasts

In what is a key variable in the fight against climate change, the world’s oceans cannot be a mere afterthought on the global economic and environmental agenda.

As the Irish Examiner reports, The Earth’s oceans face many threats, none of which have quick fixes. Still, the solutions are known, and with a sufficiently broad coalition of partners, we can get the ball rolling on a number of fronts.

A wide range of human activities — from burning fossil fuels to over-fishing — have been degrading the oceans for years. By increasing the absorption of carbon dioxide, global warming is acidifying the oceans and reducing oxygen levels, harming or killing marine plants, animals, and other organisms.

And as the ice caps melt, rising sea levels are putting hundreds of millions of people in coastal areas at risk.

Moreover, owing to a lack of modern treatment plants in many cities, especially in Africa and Asia, sewage is being dumped into rivers and canals, where it eventually runs off into the oceans, introducing large amounts of plastic particles and toxins.

The tonnes of rubbish dumped daily into streets, backyards, rivers, beaches, and coastal areas also end up in the oceans.

To read further click here and the European Investment Bank's Clean Oceans Initiative. In addition to Ireland's Clean Coasts which organises various programmes throughout the year. 

Published in Marine Science

St Colman’s Community College in Midleton, Co Cork was named School of the Year in the recent Ocean Hero Awards presented by the Clean Coasts programme at the Clayton Hotel Cork City recently.

This year Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards celebrated 11 years of honouring the invaluable contribution Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline.

The awards, originally known as the Merit Awards, were conceived in 2006, consisting then of only one category, The Clean Coasts’ Group of the Year.

Since then the Clean Coasts programme has grown to engage over 700 groups, becoming embedded in many coastal communities nationwide.

In an effort to recognise this growth, the number of Ocean Hero categories have also expanded to include Individual of the Year (won this year by Sean Ferguson), Beach Clean of the Year (won by Havin’ a Laugh), Business of the Year (Dive Academy, Wexford) and the Think Before You Flush campaign award (Galway Atlantaquaria_ as well as the original Group of the Year award (Keep Our Beaches Clean, Mayo).

Ocean Hero Awards

The presence of marine litter in our oceans is a global concern that requires action. Adequate measures are needed to address the impacts of litter in the marine environment
both at sea and on land whereby public awareness and community action plays a vital role.

The Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Awards and Ocean Talks bring together key stakeholders in the area of marine litter such as coastal communities, NGOs, tourism bodies, the science community, business and the fishing industry.

Ocean Talks speakers included Minister of State Damien English; Ken O’Sullivan, creator of RTÉ’s Ireland's Deep Atlantic; Sinead McCoy, coastal communities manager with the Environmental Education Unit at An Taisce; and Annabel Fitzgerald of Irish Water.

McCoy said: “Over the past 12 years the Clean Coasts programme’s Ocean Hero Awards have really brought to the fore the remarkable work and wonderful coastal celebration events that Clean Coasts volunteers have been involved in along the Irish coastline.

“We hope next year is no different as we look forward to receiving inspirational nominations that show the true dedication of these coastal custodians.”

Clean Coasts is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government and Fáilte Ireland.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

The Riptide Movement’s Plastic Oceans is a three-part web series that hopes to add to the urgent and important debate about how to solve the global plastic crisis and the devastating effect it is having on our marine life.

The Clean Coasts programme took Dublin rock band The Riptide Movement along the incredible Irish coastline and met with some of Ireland’s leading marine biologists, researchers, campaigners and Clean Coasts volunteers to discover the real impacts of plastic in our oceans and what it means for the future of all life on our planet, including us.

The Clean Coasts programme engages communities in the protection of Ireland's beaches, seas and marine life and currently has over 650 volunteer groups working along our Irish coastline, carrying out beach cleans and coastal protection work.

The band also visit a number of locations leading the way in tackling plastic waste including University College Cork, a Green Campus awarded site; chatted with Amanda Byram at the launch of Sky Ocean Rescue in Ireland; and sat down with the Minister for Housing, Planning & Local Government Eoghan Murphy to see what actions the government are taking and what can be done to address the issue at policy level.

Regarding wildlife, a visit to Ireland’s only seal sanctuary and a panel discussion with filmmaker Sophie Darlington highlights the impact our love of plastic is having on our marine animals.

The result is a web series aptly titled ‘The Riptide Movement’s Plastic Oceans’. Narrated by Jerry Fish, this web series highlights the extent of the plastic crisis in Ireland in an informative, artistic and engaging way, whilst also showcasing the small changes we can make to help stem the tide of single use plastics.

Talking about the web series and the bands’ collaboration with Clean Coasts, lead singer Malachy Tuohy said: “We hope this web series and our music can help raise more awareness around one of the greatest environmental challenges of our time.

“Our reliance on single use plastics is destroying our oceans, a reality so poignantly highlighted by David Attenborough in Blue Planet 2. Through our web series we wanted to learn about the issue of plastic pollution here in Ireland and what small changes we can make to help stem the tide of single use plastics.

“Our oceans are drowning in plastic and it is not the legacy we want our generation to be remembered for.”

Speaking about the web series, Clean Coasts manager Sinead McCoy said: “Litter and particularly marine litter has a huge long term negative impact on our environment. Raising public awareness is incredibly important when it comes to reducing marine litter which we see washing up on our coastline on a daily basis.

“So, the Clean Coasts programme is delighted The Riptide Movement are using their influence to bring attention to not only the issue of marine litter but the incredible work being done by Clean Coasts groups and our Clean Coasts stakeholders.”

For more information on how to get involved in Clean Coasts programme see cleancoasts.org

Published in Environment

#BigBeachClean - Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean returns this year when the event takes place next weekend (15-17 September). So there's still time to register your pariticpation to make a positive difference in helping the environment.

Clean Coasts engages communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life. The programme is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce which is funded by the Department of Environment. Once again the Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean  team have signed up with the International Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup event.

Nearly 800,000 volunteers from over 90 countries in 2016 removed 8,193 tonnes of marine litter from the world’s oceans. It is hoped that everyone will join the movement for litter free seas!

The stark reality is that around a staggering 10 million tonnes of litter end up in the world’s oceans annually which causes destruction that can be devestating to both plants and marine life.

So what is the problem of “marine litter” -firstly the term covers a wide range of materials which have been deliberately discarded, or accidentally lost on shore or at sea. In addition to materials carried out to sea from land, rivers, drainage and sewerage systems, or the wind (European Commission, 2013).

By getting involved in the Clean Coasts movement for litter free seas, you can be part of the world’s largest coastal cleanup event and marine litter survey. Help the coastline you love by taking part in Clean Coasts Big Beach Clean to protect our beaches, seas and marine life locally, nationally and internationally.

Free clean-up kits are available (while stocks last!) which include gloves, bags, data collection cards, posters and high-vis vests are available while stocks last. Sign up online below or call Clean Coasts on 01 400 2210.

It's so simple to take part in the Big Beach Clean be it individually, with friends and family in addition to groups. 

So get registering your group type now!... it's only a click away for your own beach cleaning event!

To register online click here and for information that includes links to some useful resources you will need for your clean-up:

 

Published in Marine Wildlife

2016 marks the 10th Anniversary of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme’s ‘Ocean Hero Awards’. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts’ Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006 to honour the invaluable contribution Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline. The awards started out from humble beginnings with only one category, ‘The Clean Coasts’ Group of the Year’.

Since then the Clean Coasts’ programme has grown from strength to strength, with the addition of several new initiatives and the engagement of over 500 Clean Coasts groups. This steady increase has lead to the programme becoming embedded in the majority coastal communities nationwide. In an effort to recognise this growth Ocean Heroes has also expanded to comprise seven categories, Individual of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, School of the Year, Business of the Year, Beach Clean of the Year and the ‘Think Before You Flush’ Awareness Raising Award.

Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager with An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit said “We are delighted to be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards. The awards have really brought to the fore the remarkable work and wonderful coastal celebration events that Clean Coasts volunteers have been involved in over the past decade along the Irish coastline. We hope this year is no different as we look forward to receiving inspirational nominations that show the true dedication of these coastal custodians.”

If you would like to recognise an individual, Clean Coasts group, school, business or beach clean that made a difference to our coast, you can nominate them at www.cleancoasts.org. For the ‘Think Before You Flush’ Awareness Raising Award, supported by Irish Water, we are asking you to nominate an individual or a group who you feel has gone above and beyond to promote this campaign.‘Think Before You Flush’ is a public awareness campaign, supported by Irish Water. The initiative aims to highlight the problem sanitary products and other items can cause in our marine environment and wastewater systems if they are flushed down the toilet.

The nomination process only takes a few minutes and we would love to hear your voice. Please make your nominations on www.cleancoasts.org by Friday November 4th for inclusion in the selection process.

Nominations are invited in the following categories:
1. Ocean Hero Award - Group of the Year, supported by Coca Cola
2. Ocean Hero Award – ‘Think Before You Flush’ Awareness Raising Award, supported by Irish Water
3. Ocean Hero Award - Individual of the Year
4. Ocean Hero Award - Newcomer of the Year
5. Ocean Hero Award - School of the Year
6. Ocean Hero Award - Business of the Year
7. Ocean Hero Award - Beach Clean of the Year

Clean Coasts is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Communication and Local Government, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#CleanCoasts - Almost 3,000 volunteers took to beaches around the country during Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week 2015 to remove a staggering 10 tonnes of marine litter from the coastline.

With a target to remove a further 11 tonnes from beaches around the island of Ireland this year, Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2016 – which kicked off yesterday (Friday 6 May) and runs till next Sunday 15 May – is calling on volunteers across the island to once again get involved in the numerous coastal clean-ups and events taking place throughout the week.

Over 120 beach cleans are planned alongside more than 20 coastal celebration events across Ireland in celebration of the beautiful natural resource of the coastline and to raise awareness of the importance of keeping beaches clean from litter.

With the theme ‘Enjoy Your Beach, Enjoy Your Beach Clean’, the 2016 awareness week is run by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce in partnership with Coca-Cola and Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful.

The week sees range of fun and informative events with the aim of raising awareness of the importance of protecting our coastline. Coastal celebrations range from beach fitness activities that incorporate clean-ups, to a seal release in partnership with Seal Rescue Ireland at Curracloe Strand in Wexford, and talks on the role of marram grass planting in halting coastal erosion.

Other events include National #2MinuteBeachClean Day, the launch of Love Your Coast photography competition, and Beat the Microbead Day.

While all events throughout Coca-Cola Clean Coast Week 2016 are free, some are ticketed – visit www.cleancoasts.org for all the details.

Published in Coastal Notes

#cleancoasts – A call for volunteers to join Ireland's largest coastal cleanup was made today by Clean Coasts Ambassador Easkey Britton. Clean Coasts Week 2015 takes place from May 8th to May 17th and everybody is invited to get involved in protecting and celebrating a beach they love.

A recent United Nation Environment Programme (UNEP) report estimated that 8 million individual litter items enter the marine environment every day. This is certainly evident along Ireland's coastline. In 2014 Clean Coasts groups removed a staggering 500,000 marine litter items from our beaches. Marine Litter includes a range of materials which have been deliberately discarded, or accidentally lost on shore or at sea. It includes materials that are carried out to sea from land, rivers, drainage, sewerage systems and even by the wind.

Speaking at the launch Easkey Britton, Clean Coasts Ambassador said "Clean Coasts Week is about the power of the ocean to connect. Through coming together to celebrate our coasts at Clean Coasts events around the country and by joining local groups for beach clean-ups we create a stronger sense of community, a community connected by the sea. No matter how challenging the problem of marine litter might seem, together, even a small act can lead to positive change."

Speaking at the launch Annabel FitzGerald, Clean Coasts Manager, An Taisce said: "We are expecting more than 100 beaches to be cleaned by thousands of volunteers during Clean Coasts Week. Every piece of litter removed whether as part of a large beach clean or a #2MinuteBeachClean is one less item that will pollute our oceans or be ingested by marine life."

Speaking at the launch, Erica Roseingrave, Public Affairs & Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Hellenic Ireland said, "While Clean Coasts activities take place all year round, the impact during Clean Coast week is significant. Year on year more and more volunteers are joining Ireland's largest coastal cleanup. The week is a great opportunity to connect with your local Clean Coasts group and to take part in events all over Ireland."

In addition to the many beach cleans that will be taking place there are also Coastal Celebration events, including the National #2MinuteBeachClean Day, launch of Love Your Coast photography competition, film screenings, Coastal talks, Beat the Microbead Day and lots more. While all events are free, some are ticketed; people are encouraged to check out the website for more details. www.cleancoasts.org

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#BigBeachClean - Clean Coasts’ Big Beach Clean is happening this weekend 20-21 September. And once again Clean Coasts is teaming up with the International Ocean Conservancy for the International Coastal Cleanup event.

Last year 645,015 volunteers in nine countries removed 5,580 tonnes of marine litter from the world's oceans. This year’s Big Beach Clean aims to be the biggest yet, with 100 cleanups taking place (find a cleanup near you or register a beach to clean up at www.bigbeachclean.ie).

During the Big Beach Clean, Clean Coasts volunteers are asked to carry out marine litter surveys to quantify the amount and types of marine litter on Irish beaches. These surveys are aimed at heightening awareness about the issue of marine litter and serve as an indicator of the magnitude of the problem.

Speaking about the Big Beach Clean, Clean Coasts national manager Annabel FitzGerald said: “Marine litter is a global concern, affecting all the oceans of the world. Every year, millions of tonnes of litter end up in our seas and oceans, posing environmental, economic, health and aesthetic challenges.

"Ireland boasts spectacular sandy beaches and rocky shores and we all have a responsibility in caring for it. Every single piece of litter removed during the Big Beach Clean is one less piece of litter that will pollute our beautiful beaches or harm wildlife.”

Clean Coasts ambassador Easkey Britton also spoke about her support of the Big Beach Clean. “The ocean is important - our personal health and wellbeing is so interconnected with the health of our coasts and ocean but it's in trouble," she said.

"Marine litter is a big issue but each one of us has the power to do something about it and make a real impact for our health and the ocean's. Take action now and register for the Big Beach Clean!”

Published in Coastal Notes

Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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