There were a number of local successes in the recently held Clean Coasts Ocean Hero Awards with Ballyshannon and Tullaghan picking up two of the prestigious awards at the ceremony held at the Royal College of Physicians in Dublin.
Creevy Co-op took home the award for Beach Clean of the Year while NorthWest Coastal Clean Ups Leitrim took the Ocean Hero Award for Idea of the Year. An award also went to Seamus McGoldrick of Strandhill who is a regular visitor to Bundoran and who won “Individual of the Year”.
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.
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. This year has been no different as we received inspirational nominations that show the true dedication of these coastal custodians.”
Creevy Co-op carried out a clean-up of the 10 mile coastal walk from Ballyshannon to Creevy in Donegal for World Oceans Day during Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week in 2017. There was a fantastic turn out of diverse volunteers who worked in small groups to tackle marine litter. A huge volume of litter was lifted from the scrub, beach and rocky shore of the walk. Not only was this a great cleanup but also a huge amount of effort and co-operation was needed to make it such a success. Castle Adventure Farm provided the group with access across their farmland as well as refreshments afterwards; several volunteers picked up litter from many collection points; there was a lot of organizing to get the maximum spread of volunteers and follow–ups to make sure everyone’s litter was collected. This meant a few hours cleaning was a whole day operation for the group who carried it out seamlessly.
Northwest Coastal Cleanups was established in 2017 and are the first Leitrim Clean Coasts Group. They did their first beach clean at Tullaghan shoreline for Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week on World Oceans Day. This beach clean saw 50+ people take part over the course of 3 hours. Vans were used to transport rubbish to a main collection point and extra supplies had to be got for this clean-up that brought together the whole coastal community of Leitrim. No one could have estimated the amount of litter that would be collected. The group worked with Leitrim Co. Co. who arranged collection of the litter and recorded the amount as being over 1 tonne of marine litter.