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Displaying items by tag: Coastwatch

Coastwatch is appealing for volunteers over the Spring tide period to participate in its annual coastal survey which has been extended to October 21st writes Lorna Siggins

Recent stormy weather and heavy rain have curtailed this year’s effort, and Coastwatch coordinator Karin Dubsky said volunteers would be very welcome over the next week.

The island-wide Coastwatch shore survey is in its 32nd year, having been initiated by Ms Dubsky and former Irish Times environment editor Frank McDonald.

A cross-county border training and survey event takes place this Sunday on the Galway-Clare coast when 40-minute training will be followed by group surveying of three or more sites at the causeway to Aughinish island.

Soup is promised after the event from 11.30 am to 1 pm, and it will be led by Ms Dubsky, Dr Cillian Roden and Sabine Springer.

Ms Dubsky said it was hoped to identify traditional seaweed harvesting site, seagrass and small maerl beds, and unique marine limestone sculptures made by the sea.

She has recently described the decline of seagrass as “especially worrying”, especially in Dublin Bay, as it constitutes “the most important carbon sink in our marine areas”.

Participants in the Galway event on Sunday should bring boots and wind/shower proof clothes and a pen or biro and a camera and should register with regional co-ordinator Sabine Springer on tel 086 819 53 24 or mail [email protected]

Published in Coastal Notes

New seagrass beds are among the heartening finds announced at the launch of results from the most recent Coastwatch Survey, as Coast Monkey reports.

But the launch event in Dublin last Friday (5 April) also heard that hard erosion controls, unlicensed aquaculture and marine litter were having a deleterious effect on Ireland’s ocean wealth.

As the 2018 Coastwatch Survey drew to a close in October, it was reported that non-flushable wet wipes were “in abundance” around the Irish coastline.

Speaking on Friday, Coastwatch co-ordinator Karin Dubsky also observed that “no big flat fish nurseries have been reported for years now”.

On a positive note, however, it was recognised that participation on the annual Coastwatch survey is growing among volunteers from the general public as well as fishermen and anglers.

Last year marked the 31st Coastwatch citizen science survey of Ireland’s shores. Coast Monkey has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#CoastalNotes - Wet wipes are “in abundance” around the Irish coastline as the annual Coastwatch Survey draws to a close this week.

According to RTÉ News, citizen science volunteers taking part in the ‘eco-audit’ of Ireland’s coasts — which has been extended to this Sunday 21 October -- have found “long ropes” of the non-degradable wipes scattered on beaches and around rocks.

“We need an awareness campaign so that people understand why wipes are a problem and that they should not be flushing them away,” said Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch.

RTÉ News has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#CoastalNotes - Plastic continues to litter Ireland’s coastline, with over 8,800 drinks bottles recorded around the island’s shores in the 2017 Coastwatch survey.

Preliminary results from the volunteer survey conducted in September and October show that more than four-fifths of shoreline sites had plastic bottles, according to RTÉ News.

While the rate of 3.6 per 100m of shore indicates a downward trend, it is still far higher than those in Scandinavia.

And it comes with a rising rate of bottle tops, especially “complex caps” that come with sports drinks, as The Irish Times reports.

In other summary results ahead of the final report due in the sprint, plastic bags were found at 40% of sites, though their numbers have fallen from a peak of 18 per site before the bag tax to an average of two this year.

While nearly half of locations surveyed were rated as “reliably free” of pollution by sewage, there are concerns over “worrying” nitrate levels in freshwater streams entering the sea.

That’s particularly so on the South and East Coasts, and in Northern Ireland where 13% of sites had levels exceeding EU directives.

The Irish Times has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#Coastwatch - There's still a week left for Coastwatch volunteers to participate in the annual Coastwatch Survey for 2015, which this year has a special focus on the new Dublin Bay Biosphere.

Since 15 September volunteers have taken on one or more 'survey units' – 500m of shore – to do an 'eco-audit' of Ireland's shoreline at low tide. Details are available HERE.

It's hoped that the survey will break the 1,000-unit barrier by the last day next Thursday 15 October – while also encouraging the public to experience the particularly low spring tides at this time of year, revealing much more of our vibrant marine biodiversity.

Such discoveries could even be record-breaking, like the massive honeycomb reef found by Coastwatch volunteers in the Waterford Estuary this past summer.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#Biodiversity - Coastwatch volunteers taking part in events for National Biodiversity Week have discovered a massive honeycomb reef as much as a kilometre long in the Waterford Estuary.

Members of the public began checking the shore between Hook Head in Co Wexford and Annestown in Co Waterford on Monday 18 May, an area that has previously shown signs of honeycomb reefs.

But volunteers were astounded to make this latest massive discovery, and Coastwatch members are working to ascertain if it might be the biggest reef of its kind in the world, a record currently held by Saint-Malo in Brittany.

Karen Dubsky of Coastwatch Europe said "first results look very encouraging. We are looking for more surveyors to give an hour and search their shore."

Events continue till Monday 1 June for Ireland's National Biodiversity Week 2015, with today (Friday 22 May) being International Day for Biological Diversity.

Upcoming flagship events include a marine wildlife-watching trip to Lambay Island next Wednesday 27 May, but the event calendar lists a whole host of activities both around the coast and inland throughout the country.

Published in Marine Wildlife

#CoastwatchSurvey - Last year's hot summer resulted in an increase of discarded drinks bottles around Ireland's coastline, according to the results of the latest Coastwatch survey.

The Irish Times reports on the findings of the Autumn 2013 coastal count, which concluded in mid-October - and the outcome shows some correlation between the unusually warm and sunny summer months that brought people to the seaside in droves, and an increase in both plastic and glass bottles littered on the shoreline.

The survey results also confirmed the rise in the numbers of jellyfish in Ireland's warming waters, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
Tagged under

#COASTAL NOTES - Coastwatch Ireland has urged for the plastic bag levy to be applied to sanitary products, balloons, lighters and other disposables that can be harmful to Ireland's marine wildlife.

The Irish Times reports on the call from the environmental network's Irish director Karin Dubsky at yesterday's launch of the findings from the recent 25th anniversary survey of Ireland's coastline.

As reported on Afloat.ie in October, the month-long volunteer survey took in use of land and shore, water quality, pollution levels and marine wildlife and plantlife.

More than 18,000 drinks containers - mostly plastic bottles - were found by volunteers on the 3% of Irish coastline sampled for the survey.

And despite a 50% fall over 14 years, sanitary waste such as condoms and dirty nappies were still a problem on beaches.

While suggesting a broadening of the plastic bag levy, Dubsky also called for a 'deposit on return' scheme for drinks containers to reduce letter and encourage recycling.

The survey also reported more positive news, with nitrate levels in outflow waters below detection in half the surveyed areas for the first time since 1993.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes

#COASTAL NOTES - The remains of a leatherback turtle were among the finds reported by 'citizen scientists' taking part in the Coastwatch survey of Ireland's coastline, according to The Irish Times.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the 'eco audit' marked the 25th anniversary of the first nationwide Coastwatch survey, taking in use of land and shore, quality of inflow water, waste and pollution, and selected coastal and marine wildlife and plantlife.

The survey period concluded at the weekend with an event at the new Tralee Bay Wetlands centre attended by Minister for Heritage Jimmy Deenihan, close to one of the rare discoveries by survey volunteers in the shape of honeycomb worm reefs.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Coastal Notes
21st September 2012

Wildlife Beach Walk in Salthill

#MARINE WILDLIFE - The Irish Wildlife Trust teams with the Galway Atlantaquaria to host a wildlife walk on Grattan Beach in Salthill tomorrow Saturday 22 September.

Starting at 3.30pm at the lifeguard hut, the free walk will look at the plants and wildlife found in seashore habitats on Galway Bay and around the west coast of Ireland.

Families are especially welcome, and nets and buckets will be provided for adults and children alike to explore the rock pools.

Staff from the Atlantaquaria will be taking along a selection of sea life from their undersea bounty.

And it might also be worth taking the opportunity to get involved in Coastwatch's ongoing 'eco audit' of the Irish shoreline, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

The Galway Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife
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