Riches of Wexford coastline explored
WEXFORD'S coastline came into sharp focus recently, as Coastwatch held two Blue Info Days in conjunction with Wexford County Council and Trinity College Dublin.
They were officially launched by Mayor of Wexford Cllr George Lawlor. The participants enjoyed talks and discussions about bathing water, plankton, and harmful blooms. Demonstrations on how to monitor water took place in Wexford Library and the old Ballast office at the Crescent.
Karin Dubsky of Coastwatch said much was learnt in the bathing water workshop, and the children loved seeing plankton swimming in water collected in the plankton workshop, before the session on monitoring and algal blooms started.
The event also included field-trips exploring the Wexford coastal riches by bike, sea kayak, diving or bus and foot. Bad weather forced the cancellation of some activities such as sea kayaking in Wexford; a crab race in Cahore; and the Puffin boat trip to Courtown. However, minibus trips did go to Bannow Bay, Hook Head, Cahore, Glascarrig and Ballymoney.
The event was organised by Coastwatch and Trinity College Dublin in partnership with Wexford County Council, and co-funded through 'Citclops', an EU F7 research project. Scientists from seven countries participated alongside locals.
Gerry Forde, of Wexford County Council said that Wexford's 'coastal waters are among the most varied and important for nature in Europe. This weekend provided the opportunity for individuals and groups to learn, in a simple, enjoyable and effective way, how they can contribute to the monitoring and protection of these unique assets.'
Karin Dubsky, Coastwatch and TCD added: 'Climate change is happening now. Scientists are noticing a change of sea temperature, algal blooms and rise in sea level. At the same time European and Irish policy sees us using the coastal zone more intensively, more cows, an increase in aquaculture, coastal tourism, energy projects and associated development. It is in everyone's interest that people are informed about our coastal waters and lands, how they tick, how to protect or reach good quality and be alert to problems such as harmful algal bloom.'