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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Oilspill Nears Coast?

Press Release

Feb 27th, 2009

Oil Spill - An Uncoordinated Approach Will Lead to Loss of Wildlife.

In light of the recent oil spill off the south coast of Ireland, the Irish Wildlife Trust have contacted various government departments and Local Authorities to find out what the plan of action is to deal with the oil spill if it reaches the Irish coast. Unfortunately after contacting various departments the lines of action are not clearly defined, a very worrying situation indeed.
The Coastguard in the Department of Communications Energy and Natural Resources believe the oil slick will not come ashore and currently they are monitoring the slick on a daily basis with helicopters. This is not an exact science and could change over time. A question that is harder to answer is; what happens if oil does come ashore? The oil might not come ashore immediately it might take weeks before the effects are seen. The Coastguard indicated Local Authorities are responsible for clean up operations and should have pollution plans in place. However, we know for instance Waterford County Council among others do not have a pollution plan, so what happens next?
The Coastguard have anti-pollution equipment, including bunds, to boom off oils slicks if it gets close to the shore but it is unclear if this is enough. The equipment is located in Dublin and at local sites and is under the charge of the Coastguard Pollution and Salvage manager but if the slick breaks up, it is not clear how many bays could be boomed off simultaneously as there is no published plan to consult.
In the event of oil reaching the shore the first signs of damage the public would see would be tar balls on beaches or oiled birds. In such circumstances we would advise the public report directly to the Coastguard. LoCall no. 1890 44 9900 and to the local County Council.
‘Our coastal region is invaluable for wildlife and humans alike, species such as seals, whales and dolphins, and coastal colonies of sea birds depend on a clean environment to survive,’ commented Padraic Fogarty (IWT Chairperson).
The south of Ireland holds many Special Areas of Conservation such as the Tramore Backstrand, Bannow Bay and Clonakilty Bay to name a few, not mention Special Protection areas for birds like the Saltee Islands 4 kilometres off the coast of Wexford. In this time of economic uncertainty the impact that this spill could have on our fisheries would be disastrous and have a serious impact on the livelihood of many involved in fisheries.
Even if the oil spill does not reach the Irish shores, there is still a serious need for relevant authorities to work together with a coordinated approach involving communities to help protect our beautiful coastal wildlife in the future.

For further information please contact Joanne Pender
IWT Development Officer Ph: 01 860 2839 or E-mail:

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rare Waterford Native Tree's Homecoming

Did you know that there is a rare type of oak that is native to Waterford? The Fennessy's Oak was first grown in Fennessy's Nursery in the town land of Grange in the 1820s.
Check out the Waterford Today newspaper website.

Just a random oak tree!

National Tree Week

National Tree Week
March 1st to March 7th 2009

It’s the time of the year again with Springtime on the horizon, that we think again about the leaves appearing on the trees, flowers blooming in the gardens and parks of Co. Waterford and the National Trees Council’s National Tree Week in association with Waterford County Council..

This year, Waterford County Council have been fortunate enough to receive an allocation of Trees for distribution to Schools, Community Groups and Residents Associations. As per previous years, a selection of species will be available including ash, rowan, common beech, copper beech, hazel, common birch and pedunculate oak

Trees are recognised as one of the essential parts of our environment for the role they play in cleaning air, preventing the build-up of greenhouse gases, providing renewable energy and materials for building, furniture and all the wooden items that form part of our everyday life, including the paper we read. Trees also play an essential role in providing habitats for thousands of plants and animals and are important for soil stabilisation. They are also a major contributor to our economy. This year the National Trees Council want to emphasize the role of trees in our culture whether in art, literature, poetry, history, legends, etc… the National Trees Council are compiling a guide of all the events taking place all over the country. The guide will be distributed to all primary schools and our members and will be available from sponsor outlets, O2 and Coillte. It will also be posted on their website,

As supplies will be limited, Waterford Co. Co. will do its best to get as many trees to as many groups as possible. However, please be aware that you need to contact Kevin Moynihan at the details below to register your groups’ interest in receiving trees. Act now to avoid disappointment.

In his role as Waterford County Council’s Environment Education & Awareness Officer, Kevin Moynihan can offer advice of a practical nature in relation to Energy Conservation, Water Conservation, Litter/Waste and any other general Environment queries that you may have. Do not hesitate to contact him on the numbers and details below.

For further information please contact Kevin Moynihan, Environment Education & Awareness Officer on 058 22040 or email alternatively contact The Environment Section, Waterford County Council, Civic Offices, Dungarvan, Co Waterford. Email: Web:

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Garrarus Resort Clears First Hurdle!

Waterford News and Star devotes page 3 not to skimpily clad girls but to the news that:
€150 million golf resort clears first planning hurdle
. On the same page,
Residents believe plan is screen for housing
P12 of the Munster Express also leads with
Council grants permission for Garrarus resort

For more information check out the website of Garrarus & District Concerned Residents (GDCR).

Cheekpoint Outing, 22nd February

The IWT February event will take place on the 22nd February at Cheekpoint/Faithlegg. The meeting place is at Faithlegg National School at 2.30pm. The walk will be led by Ray McGrath and will be approximately 2 hours. It will take in the seashore, woods, and SAC.
This is an easy walk and the event is family friendly.
Please note that the above map is not the actual route but just an idea of the area.