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Displaying items by tag: Special Protection Area

#COLIEMORE HARBOUR FERRY – Asides the controversial issue of the granting for an exploratory oil well drill license off Dalkey, local residents group have also stepped up a campaign since the summer to restore the island ferry which has not been operating in recent years, reports Jehan Ashmore.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council's recent unveiling of a consultant's report of the proposed PART 8 Scheme to upgrade Dalkey Island harbour, also sees the same consultants appointed to carry out a separate survey of Coliemore Harbour, the traditional mainland embarkation point of the ferry run by generations of local families.

The consultants Malachy Walsh & Partners are to carry out a structural survey on the condition of the small stone cut harbour completed in 1868, which aswell as a tourist attraction is an amenity throughout the summer for anglers, divers and kayakers alike.

DLRCC which owns the harbour, have deemed the piers unsafe and claim concerns over public safety issues for those accessing the harbour when commercial boats were in operation. It is expected that DLRCC are to receive the conclusions of the report though not until February or March, this is to enable the consultants to monitor winter weather impacts on the harbour.

The council have claimed that repair costs could be prohibitive, possibly running into millions and it is understood that such expenditure were not factored into council's Capital Programme 2012-2016.  As previously alluded, the PART 8 scheme exclusively deals with Dalkey Island alone where there also plans to restore the Martello Tower and Gun Battery, though not St. Begnet's Church which is the responsibility of the OPW.

The ferry restoration group, has also called for the short five-minute ferry ride to the 22-acre island be reinstated by a licensed operator. The licensing is under the remit of the Marine Survey Office at the Department of Transport and a future ferry service would require an open tendering process.

It has been feared by locals that the demise of a boat service arising from Coliemore's closure to ferry services, could lead to a temporary or longer term service running from Dun Laoghaire.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie a new cruiseliner tender dock facility was installed earlier this year as part of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company masterplan, where the facility would also be used for boat tours of Dublin Bay and to Dalkey Island.

It has been suggested that should such a service run, that a RIB based craft would be likely used on the longer exposed crossing to the island and taking up to 25 minutes. The consequences of an enhanced ferry operation and its potential impacts on the island were discussed as part of last month's inaugural Dalkey Island Forum.

Published in Coastal Notes

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT - The Irish Whale and Dolphin Group (IWDG) has joined the chorus of opposition to the proposed oil and gas exploration off Dalkey Island in Co Dublin.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, Providence Resources has applied for a foreshore licence to search for oil or gas about 6km out to sea on the Kish Bank Basin.

But the prospect has provoked a split in the local community over the potential risks and benefits, with many calling for a public enquiry into the licence before it is granted.

This evening an urgent meeting in Dun Laoghaire will address the public's concerns, which have been echoed by the IWDG.

"The Kish Bank and adjacent waters are important for cetaceans," said the group in a statement. "In addition, sightings of bottlenose dolphins have increased dramatically in the area following the presence of a group of three individuals since August 2010."

The IWDG is concerned about the potential effects on dolphins and porpoises that "could due to noise generated from the drilling process", noting that "there is little published data on the intensity and effects of sound generated by drilling".

Protest group Protect Our Coast has launched a online petition against the Dalkey Island Prospect citing concerns over the proximity of the drilling area to the mainland as well as the Special Protection Area of Dalkey Island, which is a haven for marine wildlife.

Published in Coastal Notes

#'DALKEY ISLAND' PROSPECT – In response to a proposed exploratory search for oil and gas operation by Providence Resources off Dalkey Island, Co. Dublin, as previously reported on Afloat.ie, a public meeting is to be held by Dalkey Community Council next week, writes Jehan Ashmore.

The meeting to be held next Tuesday in Dalkey Town Hall (at 7.30 p.m.) is to discuss the Providence venture, named 'Dalkey Island' prospect, in reference to the island off the south-side suburb. The island and the coast along Dalkey is geographically the nearest landfall to where the proposed 'jack-up' drill rig would operate in block (33/21) in the Kish Bank Basin.

An online petition (see www.protectourcoast.net)  by campaigners, entitled 'Protect Dublin Bay, Dalkey Island and Killiney Bay from Large Oil Drill 2012', has already gained large support, including signatures from overseas. They are in protest over Providence Resources application for a foreshore license which has been lodged with the Department of Environment.

Providence Resources propose to drill a single borehole for the exploratory well which is likely to be in an area only 6kms offshore of the Dalkey coastline. The island is designated a Special Protection Area (SPA) and notably where there have been sightings of bottlenose dolphins in neighbouring Killiney Bay.

Should the oil be commercially viable, the benefits of becoming self-sufficient and security of supply would be of significant economic benefit to Ireland. To date 100% of the country's oil and 95% of its gas is currently imported, and yet most of Ireland's natural resources are unexplored, according to Providence Resources.

Exploration is an expensive exercise and has no guarantee of discovery while the timeframe from discovery to production can typically take five to seven years.

"Yet," say Providence Resources, "the implications of discovering and utilising such a natural resource, and potentially becoming self-sufficient in energy terms, would be of significant economic benefit for Ireland Inc. in terms of taxation, employment, security of supply and skills development."

To read more information about Dalkey Island Prospect from Providence Resources, with maps, montages (including views from White Rock Beach) newsletters and video presentation visit www.providenceresources.com/dalkeyisland.aspx

Published in Coastal Notes

#DALKEY ISLAND PROSPECT - An online petition organised by Protect Our Coast in protest over plans by Providence Resources to start exploratory drilling for oil and gas off Dalkey Island, in south Co. Dublin, has reached over 2,000 signatures to date, including support from overseas.

Providence Resources are seeking permission from the Department of Environment for a foreshore licence to carry out site investigation and drill testing in waters depths of 20-30m in the Kish Bank Basin, at the Dalkey Island 'Prospect'.

They propose drilling one exploratory well some 6kms offshore, though the exact location chosen for the well site is subject to results of seismic surveys. This particularly area lies closer to the coastline, as it is on the more westerly fringes of the exploratory block (33-21) zone.

The campaigners object to the proximity of the well site off Dalkey Island which is designated a Special Protection Area (SPA). The island is home to a resident herd of goats, is rich in birdlife, seals and cetaceans, notably bottlenose dolphins in neighbouring Killiney Bay, which have drawn recent media attention and aided the objectives of the campaign, see www.protectourcoast.net

In addition they oppose the drilling location given its closeness to a large urban population and the risk of an oil-spill and consequent effects to humans and the environment throughout Dublin Bay.

If granted, exploratory work is due to start this year, with Providence claiming the entire process would take up to six months, between survey and drilling operations. During part of that timeframe, up to two seismic vessels will be employed, prior to deploying a 'jack-up' rig to the well site.

Should the oil be commercially viable, the benefits of becoming self-sufficient and security of supply would be of significant economic benefit to Ireland. To date 100% of the country's oil and 95% of its gas is currently imported, and yet most of Ireland's natural resources are unexplored, according to Providence Resources.

Exploration is an expensive exercise and has no guarantee of discovery while the timeframe from discovery to production can typically take five to seven years.

"Yet," say Providence Resources, "the implications of discovering and utilising such a natural resource, and potentially becoming self-sufficient in energy terms, would be of significant economic benefit for Ireland Inc. in terms of taxation, employment, security of supply and skills development."

To read more information about Dalkey Island Prospect from Providence Resources, with maps, montages (including views from White Rock Beach) newsletters and video presentation visit www.providenceresources.com/dalkeyisland.aspx

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the application for the foreshore license is currently on view in Dalkey and Dun Laoghaire Garda stations. The application contains maps, plans, and drawings which can be inspected, noting the public consultation process ends on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

In addition for information from the Department of Environment's website, click HERE. Those wishing to make an objection or representation of the sought license should make submissions to the Foreshore Unit of the department on close of business (also) on Thursday 2nd February 2012.

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Published in Coastal Notes
Wildlife on Rathlin Island could be under threat if oil-drilling licences are awarded in the area, the Belfast Telegraph reports.
The north Antrim coast has been earmarked as a site for potential oil exploration in the latest round of British Government licensing, despite the area being designated as both a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.
Environmental experts have warned of the devastating effect that oil drilling could have on marine wildlife on Rathlin Island and the nearby coastline.
"We've seen off the coast of Aberdeenshire that no matter how careful the drilling, there is always the risk of a spill," said Claire Ferry of the RSPB.
"In this case the spill happened far away from any vulnerable wildlife colonies, but just imagine the impact if that oil was washing onto a globally important seabird colony."
The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Wildlife on Rathlin Island could be under threat if oil-drilling licences are awarded in the area, the Belfast Telegraph reports.

The north Antrim coast has been earmarked as a site for potential oil exploration in the latest round of British Government licensing, despite the area being designated as both a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.

Environmental experts have warned of the devastating effect that oil drilling could have on marine wildlife on Rathlin Island and the nearby coastline.

"We've seen off the coast of Aberdeenshire that no matter how careful the drilling, there is always the risk of a spill," said Claire Ferry of the RSPB.

"In this case the spill happened far away from any vulnerable wildlife colonies, but just imagine the impact if that oil was washing onto a globally important seabird colony."

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

Published in Marine Wildlife

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The first boats and yachts will once again be arriving in December via the Rhine.

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