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Campaign to include community-based events in Northwest Coastal Counties

The Climate Action Regional Offices in collaboration with partners are leading the coordination of a public awareness campaign to highlight the importance and fragility of sand dune systems as natural coastal protection and important habitats.

Five roadshow events will be delivered at; 

  1. Mayo – Bertra Beach 
  2. Mayo – Keel Beach
  3. Sligo – Enniscrone Beach 
  4. Donegal – Falcarragh 
  5. Galway – Grattan Beach 

The campaign is bringing together communities to celebrate their coastal heritage and to empower them with the knowledge and tools to help protect and care for their local sand dunes systems for generations to come.

Tom McDonnell of the Climate Action Regional Office Atlantic Seaboard North said they are delighted to co-ordinate the campaign on behalf of a range of partners and stakeholders, and which builds on the work of previous years under the #ProtectOurDunes initiative to raise awareness and understanding of the importance of our sand dune ecosystem.

“Sand dune systems provide natural coastal protection against storms, flooding and erosion as well as being important habitats for unique plants and animals.  Despite dunes being tough and protecting us from coastal storm events, the dune grasses and plants are very fragile and the public need to be advised of activities that can damage our sand dunes, including trampling on the dunes, sliding down the dune face, wild camping and campfires, sports training, and roaming dogs. We can protect them by staying off the dunes, keeping to designated pathways and camping areas, following the direction of local signage, and watching wildlife from a distance.”

He continued: 

“The increased tourism and recreational use of our beaches while welcome needs to be managed in a way that respects and protects these natural assets. Our co-ordinated campaign will be asking the public to help protect the dunes by enjoying the beach responsibly.”

“It will include awareness raising measures in community events and on social media to convey the importance of our sand dunes to coastal resilience and biodiversity, how they can be easily damaged from recreational activities, along with simple measures to preserve them.”

To safeguard our coastal ecosystems and foster sustainable practices The Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) Atlantic Seaboard North is coordinating the campaign with 

  • Leave No Trace Ireland
  • University of Galway 
  • Clean Coasts
  • An Taisce
  • An Taisce Green Schools 
  • Dublin Bay Biosphere
  • Local Authorities Ireland – LGMA 
  • Maharees Conservation Association
  • LIFE on Machair

The five coastal locations for this year’s roadshow events also connect to the work being undertaken as part of the LIFE on Machair project and the Community Training Programme for Beaches and Dunes under the Community Climate Action Fund. 

Notes to Editors:

The Climate Action Regional Offices (CARO)

The mission of the Climate Action Regional Offices is to coordinate and support local government to lead transformative change and measurable climate action across our cities and counties.

Leave No Trace Ireland 

Is Ireland’s only outdoor ethics programme, which promotes the responsible use of the outdoors. Through education, research and partnerships, Leave No Trace Ireland enables and supports individuals, communities, organisations, and companies in reducing the environmental impact of outdoor activities.

University of Galway 

The University of Galway is a public research university located in the city of Galway, Ireland. 

Clean Coasts 

The Clean Coasts programme is supported by Local Authorities around Ireland who help with the collection of marine litter removed by Clean Coasts groups and volunteers.

An Taisce 

An Taisce – The National Trust for Ireland, is a charity working to conserve Ireland’s natural environment and built heritage.

An Taisce Green Schools 

Green-Schools is Ireland’s leading environmental management and award programme, working with primary and secondary schools across the country.

Dublin Bay Biosphere

Dublin Bay Biosphere is an ecosystem home to many rare and important species of wildlife. Today, the Biosphere covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km². Over 300,000 people live within the newly enlarged Biosphere.

Local Authorities Ireland

The Local Government Management Agency provides a range of professional services to the local government sector. It connects all 31 local authorities, aligning expertise and driving innovation.

The Maharees Conservation Association 

The Maharees Conservation Association was formed to address the adverse impact of Coastal Erosion by raising awareness and putting in place practical measures and a comprehensive management plan to ensure the future of the coastline for all to enjoy.

LIFE on Machair

This is a six-year EU funded project running from 2022 to 2028. The project was developed to work with farmers, landowners, and local communities in a bid to protect and restore Ireland’s network of Machair systems and associated breeding wader and pollinator communities. There are nine target areas in the project, ranging from Connemara and South Mayo to Erris in northwest Mayo, and Gweedore and Horn Head in Donegal.

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