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Scout Troops Join Forces to Clean Malahide Coast!

#cleancoasts #worldoceansday 2015

Malahide Sea Scouts & Malahide Coast:

Sailing, Rowing, Kayaking, Swimming, Regattas, Ireland’s Eye Expeditions and Triathlons. Malahide Sea Scouts enjoy all of these activities, annually, along the coast of Malahide. We are so lucky to have this 2km stretch of coast that allows us to run our water based activities for our young people – with the added benefit of stunning views like Malahide Marina, Donabate Sand Dunes, The Viaduct, Lambay Island, Ireland’s Eye and a strand that stretches far into the Horizon.

The upkeep and management of our coast and beach is so important not only for our scouts/activities, but also for our local community, our visitors, and for the environmental protection of wildlife habitats that exist in the area.

Scouting Ireland are one of the founding partners of Leave No Trace Ireland, the outdoor ethics education programme which was launched in National Office in Larch Hill. Built on an ethos of personal responsibility for the environment, the Leave No Trace programme, helps scouts understand the impact of their activities and make better choices when they use the outdoors.

For our latest Green Scout Den project, Malahide Sea Scouts took part in Clean Coasts Week 2015 in the hope to raise awareness and encourage our local community to help us keep our beach and coast clean all year round.

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Areas that require cleanups along the Malahide Coast

Marine litter and pollution of our oceans has become a major and very REAL issue:

  • Plastic is the most common type of marine litter in the world.
  • An estimated 100,000 marine mammals and up to 1 million sea birds die every year after ingesting or being tangled in plastic marine litter.
  • Up to 80% of the plastic in our oceans comes from land-based sources.
  • Plastics do not biodegrade, but instead break down into small particles that persist in the ocean, absorb toxins, and enter our food chain through fish, seabirds and other marine life.
  • The extent of this issue is evident from The Great Pacific Garbage Patch, areas in the North Pacific Ocean where marine debris are continuously mixed by wind and wave action and widely dispersed over huge surface areas and throughout the top portion of the water column. It is difficult to estimate the size of these “patches” because the borders and content constantly change with ocean currents and winds. The bottom line here is that man-made debris does not belong in our oceans and waterways and we now need to address this issue.

 

Have you seen ‘Trashed’ the documentary by Jeremy Irons?  Mr. Irons sets out to discover the extent and effects of our global waste problem, as he travels around the world to beautiful destinations tainted by pollution. To watch the trailer of this eye opening documentary Click here !

Rubbish we found on Malahide Beach during our clean:

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9th Port Malahide Neala Troop take part in our Beach Clean

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9th Port Malahide Wednesday and Friday Troops take part in our Clean

 

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Some of the rubbish we collected from the coastline on our clean-up

Malahide Beach |Blue Flag & Green Coast Awards:

Most beaches in Ireland aim to achieve Blue Flag status. This is one of the world’s most recognised eco-labels. Beaches that achieve this accolade must comply with a specific set of criteria relating to water quality, information provision, environmental education, safety and beach management. At Blue Flag beaches the bathing water must comply with the excellent standard in accordance with the EU Bathing Water Directive. Communities can also apply to be considered for a Green Coast Award.

Unfortunately, Malahide is not eligible to apply for either accolade at this point in time. A significant criterion for obtaining a Blug Flag or a Green Coast Award is that a beach must be recognised as a designated bathing area. Malahide is currently not a designated bathing area. Our Beach has a permanent Red Flag status, prohibiting swimming at all times. This is due to the dangers of the nearby channel, strong currents and boat traffic.

In recent years, local people and politicians have tried to engage with this particular issue. Most recently, there was a call for Low Rock to be identified as a designated bathing area due to the number of swimmers its waters attract, however, Fingal County Council assessed this option and found that “access for emergency services and the public was unsuitable. There is also a lack of parking. The area is tidal with an array of rocks and is only most suited to competent swimmers”.

There is still a lot to enjoy from Malahide beach but if you want to get more than your feet wet, we suggest Portmarnock as a safer option for swimming.

What can you do to help?

Here in Malahide we have a great community who care about the environment. There are many groups and individuals who do a superb job each year keeping Malahide looking well, our beaches included. Although we cannot apply for the above accolades, we still should keep a motivated effort to remove litter and debris from our beach. Community participation is key to spread out the work throughout the year.

If you have some free time, are out for an evening stroll, walking the dog, or just want to do your bit for the environment, why not bring a plastic bag and a pair of gloves and spend a few minutes bagging that litter!! You will be surprised by how much litter you can actually collect in just a few minutes.

Are you internet/smart phone savvy? Yes? Document your findings on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Take a photo of your collected trash and use the hashtags #2minutebeachclean #cleancoasts #Malahide. This great online campaign is happening on all coastlines around Ireland all year long.

Clean Coasts Team:

A big thank you to the Clean Coast Team who sent out gloves, rubbish bags, hi-vis, and data cards for the scouts to use for this year’s clean up. All equipment will be kept in our Quartermaster Stores and we hope to be out for another clean in the near future!

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Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.

Check out our other Green Scout Den Projects 2015:

Recharge the Earth Issue 1

Recharge the Earth Issue 2

Contact: Stephen greenscoutden@gmail.com