The Clean Coasts programme was delighted to host Ocean Talks with our Ocean Hero Awards on 21st November 2017 at the Royal College of Physicians, Dublin. The presence of marine litter in our oceans is a global concern that requires action. Adequate measures are needed to address the impacts of litter in the marine environment both at sea and on land whereby public awareness and community action plays a vital role.
The Clean Coasts Ocean Talks and Ocean Hero Awards will bring together key stakeholders in the area of marine litter such as coastal communities, NGOs, tourism bodies, the science community, business and the fishing industry.
Ocean Talks Speakers:
Dr Easkey Britton, NUI Galway,
Pro Surfer: Dr Easkey Britton, founder of Like Water, is a big-wave surfer and marine social scientist at NUIG. Her work explores the relationship between people and the sea, using her passion for the ocean to create social change and connection across cultures. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at NUI Galway co-leading NEAR-Health.
Dr Yvonne Lang, Sligo Institute of Technology
: Dr Yvonne Lang is an assistant lecturer in the Department of Life Sciences in IT Sligo. Yvonne's doctoral research explored the potential use of marine organisms for pharmaceutical industry related applications. Her current research interests include marine microorganisms and microorganism-microplastic interactions.Soibhan Faulker, Clogherhead Development Group:
Siobhan and her family are active members of the Clougherhead fishing industry and community. Siobhan volunteers and chairs the Clougherhead Development Group. The group are the local drivers for participation and award winning local and national success on a number of key initiatives such as Tidy Towns, Louth Looking Good and Pride of Place. The Clougherhead Development
Group work closely with the local fishing fleet on these initiatives as well as industry specific initiatives such as BIM’s Net Recycling and Fishing For Litter. Continue reading below.
This year Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards are celebrating eleven years of honouring the invaluable contribution Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline. The awards, originally known as the ‘Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006, consisting then of only one category, ‘The Clean Coasts’ Group of the Year’.
Since then the Clean Coasts’ programme has grown to engage over 600 Clean Coasts groups, becoming embedded in many coastal communities nationwide. In an effort to recognise this growth the number of Ocean Hero categories have also expanded to include, Individual of the Year, Bright Idea of the Year, School of the Year, Business of the Year and Beach Clean of the Year.
Seamus McGoldrick, (Sligo) who won Individual of the Year; with Dr Easkey Britton,pro surfer and NUIG researcher at An Taisce's Ocean Hero Awards 2017. Photo: Naoise Culhane
Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager with An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit said “Over the past 11 years the Clean Coasts programme’s Ocean Hero Awards have really brought to the fore the remarkable work and wonderful coastal celebration events that Clean Coasts volunteers have been involved in along the Irish coastline. We hope this year is no different as we look forward to receiving inspirational nominations that show the true dedication of these coastal custodians.”
The Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Award Winners 2017 are as follows:
1. Maharees Conservation Group, Kerry Ocean Hero Award - Group of the Year
2. Seamus McGoldrick, Strandhill, Sligo Ocean Hero Award - Individual of the Year
3. NorthWest Coastal Clean Ups Ocean Hero Award – Idea of the Year
4. St Colman’s Community College, Cork Ocean Hero Award - School of the Year
5. Galway Atlantaquaria, Galway Ocean Hero Award - Business of the Year
6. Creevy Co-Op, Donegal Ocean Hero Award - Beach Clean of the Year
7. Clean Coasts Ballynamona /Proinsias O’Tuama Ocean Hero Award
– Outstanding Achievement AwardFor more information on any of the above winners please see the attached Ocean Talks and Ocean Hero Brochure or contact Clean Coasts for more information.
Clean Coasts is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government and Fáilte Ireland.