Cooley Community Alert - Rockmarshall clean up 23rd April 2022
Last May, Irish environmental charity Clean Coasts joined forces with National Spring Clean, to provide communities around Ireland with free clean-up kits to host a clean-up during the week around World Ocean Day.
In County Louth, 10 clean-ups are set to happen, which will see over 300 volunteers getting involved. This support by the community in County Louth comes after more efforts that took place in May.
World Ocean Day is celebrated annually on June 8th to highlight the important role the ocean has for our life and the planet.
In 2022, the focus will once more be on the 30x30 campaign: to create a healthy ocean with abundant wildlife and to stabilise the climate.
Organisers say it is critical that 30% of our planet’s lands, waters, and ocean are protected by 2030.
As one of this year’s chosen charities is PayPal, Clean Coasts has been working with employees from PayPal to develop a coastal programme in Co. Louth.
The programme includes marram grass planting to combat erosion, family beach cleaning events, beach information and interactive hubs, and looking into an online erosion monitoring model that can be used on the Clean Coasts website.
There has also been cross-collaboration with local registered Clean Coasts groups in Co. Louth including Cooley Community Alert and Costa Aláinn Termonfeckin.
Some of these actions are yet to happen this summer, but a couple of events have already taken place.
On 23rd April Clean Coasts teamed up with Cooley Community Alert to run a Roadshow event which includes a biodiversity stand and beach clean.
There were quite a few PayPal employees, but also members from Louth Volunteers, An Garda Síochána, and locals.
A huge amount of rubbish was collected off the coastline by Rockmarshall. On 21st May Clean Coasts organised a marram grass planting session at Termonfeckin, teaming up with local group Costa Aláinn.
The event required a lot of pre-work planning of meetings with local landowners Seapoint Golf Links, and discussion with Louth County Council about local protections.
PayPal provided the bulk of the approximately 40 people that showed up on a Saturday morning to do the planting, but members of the local community also helped, and the Golf club contributed with refreshments. Planning is afoot for the next PayPal event this summer.
Moreover, teaming up with Cooley Community Alert, Clean Coasts engaged with local schools around the local area to educate on marine topics and tackle marine litter.
Clean Coasts facilitated workshops and beach cleans with Scoil Naomh Loran (Omeath) on 7th March, Rathcor N.S. (near Templetown) on 8th April, Knockbridge N.S. (Blackrock) on 4th May, and Muchgrange N.S. (Templetown) on 5th May.
All these events are happening in the context of a very few busy months for the organisation, which saw other initiatives to protect and learn more about the ocean being launched recently, including the launch of the Love Your Coast photography competition, the release of two marine biodiversity directories, the release of new Enjoy and Protect guides, marram grass planting events and more.
Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager said:
“We were so overwhelmed with the support received from the public. In under 72 hours over 230 clean-ups had already registered on the Clean Coasts website. Now over 4,000 volunteers are set to take action for World Ocean Day by organising or joining a clean-up event around Ireland.”
Volunteers who didn’t manage to secure a clean-up kit can still take action by joining an existing clean-up, a list of which can be found on the Clean Coasts website.
Finally, to celebrate World Ocean Day and following the launch of two Marine Biodiversity directories last month, yesterday Clean Coasts has also issued a fourth Enjoy and Protect guide about wildlife photography, specifically designed not just for amateur photographers wishing to enter the Love Your Coast Photography competition, but also for the general public who wish to capture the beauty of our coastline while doing something to protect it.
In 2021, the initiative changed its name from “World Oceans Day” to “World Ocean Day”. By dropping the “s”, its organisers wanted to highlight the fact that we are all connected by a large ocean.
This shared ocean supports all life on the planet, by producing most of the oxygen we breathe and regulating climate. No matter where we live, we all depend on the ocean to survive.
This means that each piece of marine litter removed from a beach, river, lake, park or street in Ireland, will have a positive impact on a global scale.
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