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05 Jul 2022

Dundalk Tidy Towns granted funding for Ramparts River study

One of two projects in Louth granted funding through LAWPRO

Dundalk Tidy Towns granted funding for Ramparts River study

Dundalk Tidy Towns granted funding for Ramparts River study (Photo provided courtesy of LAWPRO)

Two projects in Louth have been granted funding through the Local Authority Waters Programme Community Water Development Fund, with the Ramparts in Dundalk the focus of one particular project and an exploration of Omeath’s local freshwater waterbodies through citizen science activities being supported in another.

Dundalk Tidy Towns has been granted €4,500 to go towards an Initial Options Assessment for an ecological study of the Ramparts River in Dundalk. Omeath District Development CLG has been granted €500 to go towards an exploration of Omeath’s local freshwater waterbodies through citizen science activities.

The rivers and coastline of County Louth are recognised as renowned places of natural beauty. They are popular with locals and visitors alike as destinations for water-based recreational activities, especially during summer months. However, water quality in some areas is not as good as it should be, with latest reports from the Environment Protection Agency show that around half of the rivers and lakes in Ireland do not have good water quality.  

Issues affecting water quality in Louth’s rivers and lakes are well documented, with a lot of work underway through the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), Louth County Council and relevant agencies to address pollution and other known problems. For the next five years, this work will be guided by Ireland’s River Basin Management Plan.  

LAWPRO are contributing the funding to the two projects this year in County Louth. In acknowledgement of the important and diverse role communities have in the stewardship of healthy waters, Community Water Officer for Counties Louth, Monaghan & Cavan, Ben Malone said:

“Community involvement is key to the protection and management of local waterbodies and our ability to fund the delivery of projects like these is only one of a number of ways LAWPRO can provide support to groups on the ground who want to protect their local environment. Every group on the ground has a role to play, no matter how big or small it is or whatever their capacity may be, there is support there for that group to act.” 

Nationally a total of 202 applications for Local Authority Waters Programme Community Water Development Fund for 2022 were received with 182 awarded a total of €510,093.31. Types of projects approved for funding include:

  • river and habitat enhancement works such as planting of native species and hedgerow, pollinator friendly planting, river-bank stabilisation, fencing and riparian buffer zones
  • match funding for large LEADER funded projects with a biodiversity/water quality element
  • preparation of local plans such as feasibility studies, habitat management plans, ecological surveys, and biodiversity action plans
  • awareness raising initiatives such as river clean ups, biodiversity information boards, citizen science workshops, outdoor classrooms, rainwater harvesting, and enhancement of wetlands

Commenting on the fund, the Minister for Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Darragh O’Brien, T.D. said, “I welcome the announcement of the Community Water Development Fund grants 2022, which will support local communities and groups to deliver projects that enhance the quality of local streams, rivers, lakes, and coastal areas. I am pleased that my Department funds this scheme, which is a great example of community engagement and public participation.

"The Community Water Development Fund will continue to be a key measure in the new revised and strengthened River Basin Management Plan for Ireland, which I plan to launch later this year alongside my colleague Minister Malcolm Noonan. The Plan aims to protect Ireland’s water quality, and to ensure we have a well-protected environment and vibrant communities for future generations.”

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