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Displaying items by tag: Irish Ocean Literacy Network

Is Ireland “ocean literate”? Tireless campaigners for better awareness of our impact on our marine environment may not be so sure, but Galway-based scientist Dr Noirín Burke is ever optimistic.

Dr Burke is director of education at Galway Atlantaquaria in Salthill, and her infectious enthusiasm for life on the shoreline has inspired several generations of young visitors since she took up that post.

However, Dr Burke is also co-secretariat of the Irish Ocean Literacy Network which is preparing for a number of events next month as part of European Maritime Day.

European Maritime Day

The programme ranges from an EU blue schools workshop on May 17th to an ocean literacy communications event hosted by Sea Search Ireland and Galway Atlantaquaria, to the first ocean literacy festival.

Dr Noirin Burke and her daughter Roisín on Grattan Beach, GalwayDr Noirin Burke and her daughter Roisín on Grattan Beach, Galway

On May 20th, the Irish Ocean Literacy Network will also host a workshop with speakers including Patrícia Conceição, Directorate-General for Maritime Policy, Portuguese Blue Schools (Escola Azul); Easkey Britton, world-renowned surfer, marine social scientist and writer; Nicola Bridge, President, European Marine Science Educators Association and Nathalie Van Isacker, EMODnet Secretariat, European Atlas of the Seas

Wavelengths interviewed Dr Burke (below)to hear details about the network, about her own work, about European Maritime Day, and about one of her favourite coastal locations – Galway’s Grattan beach.

Published in Wavelength Podcast

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 … My island, my ocean’ is being run with support from the SFI MaREI Centre, DCU Water Institute and AquaTT.

Members and interested parties are invited to join a ‘day of inspiration’ at the brainstorming and co-creation workshop for designing and developing a national campaign, working with a host of artists, storytellers and marketeers.

The morning session will be dedicated to sharing ideas, defining campaign strategy and drafting storyboards for campaign content.

The afternoon session will bring together graphic designers, professional science communicators and educators to work together to co-design and create campaign assets for different channels and mediums.

Further design and development will follow after the event in the run-up to launching the campaign next month, with a view to linking it with World Ocean Day on 8 June or SeaFest 2019 in Cork on 7-9 June.

The workshop is free for members of the IOLN, which extends a special welcome to science communicator and those with expertise and an interest in storytelling, animation, graphic design, visual scribing/graphic facilitation, videography, digital marketing and social media campaigns.

For more details and how to book your place, visit the Eventbrite page HERE.

Published in Marine Science

The Irish Ocean Literacy Network held its sixth national meeting last Wednesday 20 February at the Marine Institute in Galway, where keynote speakers Dr Easkey Brittonsurfer and post doc fellow at NUI Galway — and filmmaker Ken O’Sullivan of Sea Fever Productions spoke about the importance the ocean has on our lives as islanders.

Speaking at the event as chair, Cushla Dromgool-Regan of the Marine Institute welcomed having two distinguished guest speakers, highlighting the importance of recognising Ireland’s rich maritime heritage and being able to share our stories.

“As an island nation we are extremely lucky to have a wealth of experts from all walks of life willing to share their experiences with the wider marine community,” she said.

“From being able to see a whale and its calf close up in Irish waters through Ken’s film work, to watching children learning to surf for the first time with Easkey, reminds us of the diversity and importance of our maritime heritage and looking after our ocean for future generations.”

Easkey Briton is widely recognised for her international achievements in surfing is currently completing a post-doctoral research fellow with the EU-Horizon 2020 project Seas, Oceans and Public Health in Europe (SOPHIE).

Growing up in a family of surfers, Easkey talked about how her life passion for the water has brought her in a full cycle, where much of her research as a social scientist has been about the environment and society.

“Bringing people together through community outreach to working with a range of stakeholders in my current research highlights how we all value the ocean in different ways, yet together we all seem to understand the importance of linking our ocean with human health,” Easkey said.

Filmmaker Ken O’Sullivan also spoke at the event sharing his love of the ocean. Coming from a family of fishermen and then learning to dive opened up a new world of discovery for Ken at a young age, where he stated “exploring the ocean as a child with no limitations was like living the life to what might be similar to Huckleberry Finn. Now making a career out of filming wildlife and creative documentaries in the most extreme environments has been a life of adventures.”

Ken O’Sullivan set up Sea Fever Productions in 2006 with Katrina Costello to produce wildlife and creative documentaries. In 2018 they produced Ireland’s Deep Atlantic, a hugely ambitious ocean natural history series searching for blue whales and cold water coral reefs in the deep waters of the North Atlantic, documenting habitats and whale and shark behaviour for the first time ever.

“I have worked with a range of people who have contact with the ocean from fishermen, whale watchers to marine researchers and scientists during their deep sea expeditions, [and] coupled with the development of filming technology, [it] has provided an incredible opportunity to capture footage of marine life right at our doorstep,” Ken said.

“The feedback from the public who have seen my work has been extremely rewarding, particularly from those who are seeing marine life in Irish waters for the first time.”

With a wide range of ocean champions promoting ocean engagement across the island of Ireland, the Irish Ocean Literacy Network says it has seen a significant growth in the last six months, with nearly 100 members representing individuals, small businesses, outreach and education specialists, researchers, NGOs, State agencies and Government departments throughout Ireland.

Garry Kendellen, secretariat of the network, said: “With the recent growth of the IOLN membership, it is encouraging see a sense of the ocean community in one room.

“Our network is a truly eclectic mix of people, who share a similar passion for the ocean. From community outreach to larger national collaborations, it is great to see so many members willing to share their experiences with the network, providing advice and inspiring new collaborations and ideas.”

During the strategic workshop run by David Murphy of AquaTT, he noted: “As an island nation we are in a unique position to help contribute to the national and international efforts to increase peoples understanding and engagement about the ocean.

“We are all individuals who bring something new to the network, yet working together as a collective highlights the importance of creating impactful actions and messaging promoting our ocean from coast to coast.”

The Irish Ocean Literacy Network holds four membership meetings per year where attendees are able to meet other ocean champions who are keen to raise awareness and engagement about the ocean in Ireland. Membership is currently free and if you are interested in learning more, contact [email protected]

The Marine Institute are funders of the Irish Ocean Literacy Network secretariat, which was awarded to Galway Atlantaquaria from 2018-2020. This aims to supports the institute’s Strategic Plan 2018-2022, Building Ocean Knowledge – Delivering Ocean Services, as well as the Government’s marine strategy Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, whereby it aims to increase awareness of the value, opportunities and societal benefits of our ocean, as well as raising peoples engagement with the ocean.

Published in Marine Science

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.

© Afloat 2020

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