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Displaying items by tag: inland waters

#InlandWaters - Waterways Ireland's latest tourism guide for Voyages and Visits was officially launched yesterday (Thursday 14 January) at Belfast's Holiday World Show.

The guide contains all the essential navigational and practical information required to help in planning a voyage or visit to the eight inland navigations on the island of Ireland under the remit of Waterways Ireland.

Voyages and Visits is free and available to order in print or download from the Waterways Ireland online shop HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - The Heritage Bill 2016, including a raft of changes to the Canals Act, was presented to the Oireachtas on 4 January last.

Pages 5 to 13 and 22 of the Heritage Bill will be of particular interest to canal users as they detail the proposed amendments to bye-laws from the 1986 Act, many of which have come under scrutiny from inland boaters since they were first suggested in the summer of 2014.

The bye-law amendments include provisions for the "charging and fixing of fees, tolls and charges in respect of the use by boats of the canals (including the use of locks on the canals and mooring on the canals) and the taking of water from the canals".

Details of any such new bye-laws will be published on the Waterways Ireland website and in local newspapers, and users may submit objections during the 21 days from the first publication of notice.

The Heritage Bill is available as a PDF to read or download HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#InlandWaters - ​​​Waterways Ireland is producing a 'What's On' guide which features festivals and events occurring within an eight-mile corridor of the inland waterways under its remit.
​​​
​​​Over 8,000 copies of the guide will be distributed free of charge to both local and national markets.

If you would like to be considered for inclusion in the 2016 edition, please complete the entry form ​(available HERE) and return it to:

Waterways Ireland,
Marketing & Communication,
2 Sligo Road,
Enniskillen,
Co Fermanagh BT74 7JY

Alternatively, you can fax to +44 (0)28 6634 6257 or email to [email protected]

Entries must be received no later than next Friday 22 January.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Flooding - Water levels on Lough Neagh are at a 30-year high, and business owners in the region are counting the cost of flooding on their livelihoods, as Belfast Live reports.

A number of traders are battling to stay open despite the deluge, which came after the wettest December on record.

And the rainy trend shows no sign of letting up, with showers forecast every day till early next week.

"We're still open but nobody can get in to us," said David Cochrane of Custom Covers NI, who is keeping his new Kinnego Marina unit open despite five inches of flood waters.

"It's a bit of a mess to say the least. The financial side of it has cost me a lot."

Yesterday BBC NI weatherman Barra Best posted video of the damaging flooding at the marina on the southern end of Ireland's largest lake.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Pollution - The effects of diesel laundering over decades in South Armagh are being felt even greater today, say Dundalk anglers, as the New Year starts with the River Fane closed to all but catch-and-release fishing.

As Independent.ie reports, a 10-fold decrease in stocks of salmon as well as brown trout and sea trout in the river, which flows into Dundalk Bay from the Monaghan-Armagh border, is the direct result of diesel laundering operations by the IRA since at least the 1980s.

Waste from the process of converting subsidised agricultural 'green' diesel to 'white' diesel for general road use has reportedly been dumped openly into a tributary of Lough Ross, which feeds into the Fane – a river that supplies drinking water to Dundalk and much of North Louth.

A recent study found that these pollutants include polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons or PAHs, the same chemicals that continue to affect spawning grounds in areas impacted by the Exxon Valdez oil spill in Alaska 26 years ago.

Independent.ie has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

#Flooding - Moves to prevent flooding in the Shannon catchment may be in breach of EU habitats directives, as The Irish Times reports.

Next Tuesday (5 January) the Taoiseach is expected convene a meeting of all relevant State agencies to discuss flood measures along the River Shannon.

And according to Simon Harris, Minister of State for the OPW, some suggestions – such as dredging and flood barriers – "will breach the EU directives" as they pose a threat to fish and birdlife.

The Shannon and its catchment are home to a number of protected species from salmon to kingfishers.

But Minister Harris said flood prevention measures were a necessity when the river catchment faces "a humanitarian crisis in some areas" due to flooding that began with Storm Desmond nearly a month ago.

It's a situation that will only deteriorate over time, with Met Éireann indicating that climate models predict worsening winter floods further into this century.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

Published in Inland Waterways

#MarineScience - Climate change is rapidly warming lakes around the world, threatening freshwater supplies and ecosystems, according to a new study spanning six continents.

More than 60 scientists took part in the research, published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters and announced at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union on Wednesday 16 December.

The study – based on global analyses including unique long-term data from the Marine Institute's catchment research facility at Newport, Co Mayo – found that lakes are warming an average of 0.34C, or 0.61F, each decade.

That's greater than the warming rate of either the oceans or the atmosphere, and it can have profound effects, the scientists say.

At the current rate, algal blooms – which can ultimately rob water of oxygen – are projected to increase 20 percent in lakes over the next century. Algal blooms that are toxic to fish and animals would increase by five percent.

These rates imply that emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide, will increase four percent over the next decade.

"Lakes are important because society depends on surface water for the vast majority of human uses," said co-author Stephanie Hampton, director of Washington State University's Center for Environmental Research, Education and Outreach.

"Not just for drinking water, but manufacturing, for energy production, and for irrigation of our crops. Protein from freshwater fish is especially important in the developing world."

Temperature is one of the most fundamental and critical physical properties of water. It controls a host of other properties that include intricate living processes that have evolved within strict boundaries.

When the temperature swings quickly and widely from the norm, life forms in a lake can change dramatically and even disappear.

"These results suggest that large changes in our lakes are not only unavoidable, but are probably already happening," said lead author Catherine O'Reilly, associate professor of geology at Illinois State University.

Earlier research by O'Reilly has seen declining productivity in lakes with rising temperatures.

Funded in part by NASA and the National Science Foundation, the study is the largest of its kind and the first to use a combination of long-term hand measurements and temperature measurements made from satellites, offsetting the shortcomings of each method.

Study co-author Simon Hook, science division manager at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory, said satellite measurements provide a broad view of lake temperatures over the entire globe. But they only measure surface temperature, while hand measurements can detect changes in temperature throughout a lake. Also, satellite measurements go back only 30 years while some lake measurements can go back more than a century.

Lough Feeagh in Co Mayo was one of 235 lakes in the study that have been monitored for at least 25 years. While that's a fraction of the world's lakes, they contain more than half the world's freshwater supply.

The Marine Institute measures the surface water temperature of Lough Feeagh as part of the long term ecological monitoring of the Burrishoole catchment. The Burrishoole research station is an internationally important index site for diadromous fish monitoring, and water temperature is a crucial variable controlling growth, migration and survival of salmon, trout and eel in the catchment.

"The inclusion of data from Lough Feeagh in this study highlights the value of collecting local environmental long term data to inform global analyses," said Dr Elvira de Eyto, a biologist at the Marine Institute facility in Burrishoole and one of the studies co-authors.

Marine Institute chief executive Dr Peter Heffernan added: "The sharing of such data with global scientific networks makes an important contribution to worldwide climate change analyses, and our understanding of how the warming climate will affect our valuable aquatic resources."

The surface water of Lough Feeagh has warmed at a rate of 0.35C per decade between 1985-2009, although the rate of warming was lower than some other northern hemisphere lakes.

"We want to be careful that we don't dismiss some of these lower rates of change," said Hampton. "In warmer lakes, those temperature changes can be really important. They can be just as important as a higher rate of change in a cooler lake."

The researchers said various climate factors are associated with the warming trend. In northern climates lakes are losing their ice cover earlier, and many areas of the world have less cloud cover, exposing their waters more to the sun's warming rays.

Many lake temperatures are rising faster than the average air temperatures. Some of the greatest warming is seen at northern latitudes, where rates can average 0.72C, or 1.3F, per decade.

Warm-water, tropical lakes may be seeing less dramatic temperature increases, but increased warming of these lakes can still have large negative impacts on fish. That can be particularly important in the African Great Lakes, home to one-fourth of the planet's freshwater supply and an important source of fish for food.

In general, the researchers write: "The pervasive and rapid warming observed here signals the urgent need to incorporate climate impacts into vulnerability assessments and adaptation efforts for lakes."

Published in Marine Science

#Drones - Filmmakers have been using consumer-grade drones to capture some stunning footage in recent times, and this incredible video of Lough Eske is no exception.

Spanish video company eldrone.es launched from the grounds of Solis Lough Eske Hotel in Donegal to capture the breathtaking beauty of the lake in glorious 4K quality.

Meanwhile, Irish Rail released a similarly sweeping aerial view of the recently refurbished Drogheda Viaduct, after €6.1 million of EU-funded works that saw the installation of a new drainage system, waterproofing and state-of-the-art lighting.

It's a fitting facelift for Sir John MacNeill's engineering marvel that has spanned the River Boyne for 160 years.



Aerial photographer Dennis Horgan may not use a drone for his vistas, opting for helicopters and fixed-wing aircraft to get in position for the right shot, but his latest images captured over Dublin Bay are all the more impressive for it.

Indeed, a number of Dublin's waterfront landmarks appear in TheJournal.ie's gallery of his bird's eye view of the capital, many seen from unusual angles.

Published in Marine Photo

#Flooding - Flooding in the Shannon catchment is still "severe" according to the National Emergency Coordination Group,

As RTÉ News reports, waters have risen by 2.5cm in the Athlone area, where the Shannon breached its banks before the weekend.

And levels expected to peak on the Lower Shannon later today (Monday 14 December) between Lough Derg and Limerick, which experienced serious flooding in parts of the city not normally affected.

However, as rain persists over coming days, counties in the South and South West remain at risk, as heavy rainfalls "could cause flooding in areas have had no flooding so far".

Meanwhile, at the other end of the waterway, Lough Erne burst its banks in the Enniskillen area at the weekend – rendering a number of roads impassable, as the News Letter reports.

Published in Inland Waterways

#Flooding - The Defence Forces have joined in flood relief efforts in Clare, Limerick and Westmeath as weekend rains risk significant flooding in the region.

As reported yesterday on Afloat.ie, the Shannon Catchment could see its worst flooding in two decades as spring tides exacerbate the effects of last weekend's Storm Desmond, which prompted a rare 'Status Red' warning for rainfall.

RTÉ News reports that the Shannon is already at dangerous levels, with a flood emergency response launched in Athlone after the waterway breached its banks in the Midlands town, threatening 100 homes.

Homes were also evacuated in Clonlara, Co Clare – between the Shannon and the Headache Canal – while the ESB was releasing water at its Inniscarra Dam facility in Cork to manage reservoir levels, warning of a subsequent risk downstream on the River Lee.

Meanwhile, Waterways Ireland has advised boaters to keep their vessels moored during this and other periods of stormy weather "and especially when national weather alerts are in place".

Even when the storms have passed, "users should be aware that the navigations will have changed significantly in nature and character" with the risk of strong currents, rising waters from flash flooding obscuring navigation markers, and falling trees weakened by storm-force winds.

Published in Inland Waterways
Page 10 of 17

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