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Displaying items by tag: ecology

The wonders of Ireland's marine life came to the LifeTime Lab in Cork on Monday with the launch of a fortnight of school visits in tandem with the Explorers marine education programme for primary schools.
The programme aims to empower primary teachers to include marine themes in their classes via specially devised lesson plans and support services adapted to the curriculum, including in-service cources on seashore ecology, marine history, arts and crafts, and mathematics.
“The Explorers Programme focuses on Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of programme partner the Marine Institute. “If Ireland is to develop a thriving marine sector in tomorrow’s world, then it will be the young people of today who will make it happen.”
The programme - which has already been rolled out to some 40 primary schools in the west of Ireland from Mayo to Clare, and in six schools in and around the capital - is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science, the Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway, Mayo and Clare Education Centres in the west, and the Bray Sea Life Centre and Blackrock Education Centre in the Dublin area.
Manager of LifeTime Lab Mervyn Horgan said his team was "delighted to be involved" in the pilot series of workshops.
"We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging in science education and raising the awareness of marine science in Cork classrooms can only bring long term benefits,” he added.
For more details visit the Explorers website at www.explorers.ie.

The wonders of Ireland's marine life came to the LifeTime Lab in Cork on Monday with the launch of a fortnight of school visits in tandem with the Explorers marine education programme for primary schools.

The programme aims to empower primary teachers to include marine themes in their classes via specially devised lesson plans and support services adapted to the curriculum, including in-service cources on seashore ecology, marine history, arts and crafts, and mathematics.

“The Explorers Programme focuses on Ireland’s two greatest natural resources – our vast undersea territory and our young people,” said Dr Peter Heffernan, CEO of programme partner the Marine Institute. “If Ireland is to develop a thriving marine sector in tomorrow’s world, then it will be the young people of today who will make it happen.” 

The programme - which has already been rolled out to some 40 primary schools in the west of Ireland from Mayo to Clare, and in six schools in and around the capital - is a collaborative effort between the Marine Institute, Forfas Discover Primary Science, the Galway Atlantaquaria and Galway, Mayo and Clare Education Centres in the west, and the Bray Sea Life Centre and Blackrock Education Centre in the Dublin area.

Manager of LifeTime Lab Mervyn Horgan said his team was "delighted to be involved" in the pilot series of workshops.

"We are always looking for new and innovative ways of engaging in science education and raising the awareness of marine science in Cork classrooms can only bring long term benefits,” he added.

For more details visit the Explorers website at www.explorers.ie.

Published in Marine Science
A new inter-agency response to the rising levels of invasive weed growth on Lough Erne has been launched.
The Lough Erne Invasive Species Group (LEISG) brings together Fermanagh District Council, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), Waterways Ireland, the UK's Departments of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and Agriculture and Rural Development, among others, to tackle the threat posed by the invasive Nuttall's Pondweed.
LEISG says the weed has survived the winter "in significant quantities", and the potential for its rapid spread poses a serious concern for tourism and leisure on Co Fermanagh.
The group has recommended harvesting and weed-cutting as the most effective method to control Nuttall's Pondweed where it may interfere with main channels and access to public amenities.
Management of water levels has also been identified as playing a role in future control of the weed.
Anyone wishing to assist in weed-cutting must contract the NIEA through www.nidirect.gov.uk for permission. More information on invasive species is available at www.invasivespeciesireland.com.

A new inland waterways inter-agency response to the rising levels of invasive weed growth on Lough Erne has been launched.

The Lough Erne Invasive Species Group (LEISG) brings together Fermanagh District Council, the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), Waterways Ireland, the UK's Departments of Culture, Arts and Leisure, and Agriculture and Rural Development, among others, to tackle the threat posed by the invasive Nuttall's Pondweed.

LEISG says the weed has survived the winter "in significant quantities", and the potential for its rapid spread poses a serious concern for tourism and leisure on Co Fermanagh.

The group has recommended harvesting and weed-cutting as the most effective method to control Nuttall's Pondweed where it may interfere with main channels and access to public amenities.

Management of water levels has also been identified as playing a role in future control of the weed.

Anyone wishing to assist in weed-cutting must contract the NIEA through www.nidirect.gov.uk for permission. More information on invasive species is available at www.invasivespeciesireland.com.

Published in Inland Waterways
Irish boatowners and fishermen have been urged to remain alert to the prospect of so-called 'killer shrimp' invading Ireland's waters.
The dikerogammarus villosus shrimp - which has spread aggressively throughout Europe in the past decade and was discovered in England last year - could have "dire consequences" for the biodiversity of Ireland's rivers and lakes.
Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld told the Sunday Independent: "These invasive species are very aggressive and take over from the native species - and change the whole environment and ecosystem."
The killer shrimp is larger that its native cousin, making it a more deadly predator. It is known to attack insect larvae, baby fish and native shrimp.
"The shrimp will eat the primary source of food for the trout and salmon and other indigenous species which have been here for billions of years," said Flannery.
The killer shrimp has spread mainly by attaching to boat hulls at the larval stage, promping Flannery to urge all fishermen and boatowners to disinfect their vessels before using them in Irish waterways.

Irish boatowners and fishermen on inland waterways have been urged to remain alert to the prospect of so-called 'killer shrimp' invading Ireland's waters.

The dikerogammarus villosus shrimp - which has spread aggressively throughout Europe in the past decade and was discovered in England last year - could have "dire consequences" for the biodiversity of Ireland's rivers and lakes.

Kevin Flannery of Dingle Oceanworld told the Sunday Independent: "These invasive species are very aggressive and take over from the native species - and change the whole environment and ecosystem."

The killer shrimp is larger that its native cousin, making it a more deadly predator. It is known to attack insect larvae, baby fish and native shrimp.

"The shrimp will eat the primary source of food for the trout and salmon and other indigenous species which have been here for billions of years," said Flannery.

The killer shrimp has spread mainly by attaching to boat hulls at the larval stage, promping Flannery to urge all fishermen and boatowners to disinfect their vessels before using them in Irish waterways.

Published in Inland Waterways

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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