The rivers and coastline of Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are 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. The latest reports from the Environment Protection Agency show that around half of the rivers and lakes in Ireland do not have good water quality.
Figure 1: Water Heritage Day Event with Marley Park Residents Association, Aug. 2021 (Photo – D. O’Keeffe)
Issues affecting water quality in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown are well documented, with a lot of work underway through the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown 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.
Each year, communities and local champions play a vital role in the protection and enhancement of local waterbodies. The Community Water Development Fund supports this effort and in 2022, over €500,000 in grant aid has been awarded to groups nationwide, with three community groups in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown receiving a combined total of €8,200.
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.”
Congratulating all the successful applicants who will receive funding through the Community Water Development Fund, Minister of State Malcolm Noonan TD added, “I welcome the collaborative approach led by my Department, the Local Authority Waters Programme, working across all 31 local authorities with relevant State agencies, stakeholder and local communities with the shared goal of meeting the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive to have all natural waters at a good standard by 2027.”
Projects approved for grant funding in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown include:
- Booterstown Marsh Nature Reserve: Puccinellia fasciculata Borrer’s Saltmarsh Grass habitat survey (An Taisce Dun Laoghaire Association)
- The Big Weigh In 2022 (Flossie and The Beach Cleaners)
- Booterstown Marsh Nature Reserve: Insect Study (An Taisce Dun Laoghaire Association)
- Investigative assessment of Kill of the Grange Stream within Loughlinstown Linear Park (Loughlinstown Estate Management Committee)
This year, an additional €10,000 was awarded as part of the Blue Dot Programme. The Blue Dot Award for 2022 was shared between two groups: IRD Duhallow in County Cork and CELT (Centre for Environmental Living & Training) in County Galway. Blue Dots are catchments which are mostly unpolluted and are our best quality waters.
For more information on all grants awarded in 2022 visit www.lawaters.ie and for information and advice relating to enhancing local water bodies in Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown contact Dónal O’Keeffe, Community Water Officer at 085 8700 126/ firstname.lastname@example.org
For the latest on water quality, science, and stories of community activities visit www.catchments.ie