Teamwork in Ardglass Keeping the Shores Litter Free
On Saturday 24 August, Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership (SLLP) brought volunteers together with the Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority (NIFHA) to tackle the unsightly marine litter that had accumulated in the bays around Ardglass harbour.
Working with local people, using innovation and teamwork across communities, clubs, local councils and local businesses, SLLP’s Coast Care project aims to tackle dangerous and unsightly marine litter along the coast of the Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). PJ Gault, Chairperson of SLLP Stakeholder Committee said, “The success of this project to clean up our coasts lies with our dedicated volunteer and community support. The AONB is a unique landscape, somewhere that we all cherish and we are inspired by the teamwork that we see in our local communities to keep working to protect our special place. Our thanks to all those who support this project, we couldn’t do it without you.”
The fantastic team effort co-ordinated by SLLP, working in partnership with NIFHA and community volunteers resulted in three quarters of a tonne of litter being collected and removed from the marine environment.
Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Charlie Casey said, “I am delighted to see everyone working together in Ardglass to improve the visual amenity of this wonderful place and remove this dangerous and unsightly litter, that is sadly seen all too frequently on our shores. Keep up the good work everyone.”
Ardglass harbour Master, James Lenaghan said, “The NI Fishery Harbour Authority are delighted to have been able to work with Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership on yet another successful shore clean-up in Ardglass. We wish to express our thanks to all the volunteers who came along to support us on the day. In particular, the volunteers from Protect Our Pristine Seas who have adopted Ardglass through the Keep Northern Ireland ‘Adopt a Spot scheme’ and also organise regular clean-ups of the area.”
According to the Marine Litter Report 2018, produced by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful, there are 625 items of litter, on average, per 100m of beach in Northern Ireland. The report goes on to say that, “Marine Litter and plastic pollution pose a significant threat to our wildlife and to us. Plastic is now everywhere – present in the tiniest shrimps to our largest whales. It can impact wildlife in many ways including poisoning, entanglement and intestinal blockages”.
This clean-up was supported by Live Here Love Here through the Small Grant Scheme and Neighbourly.
SLLP is a partnership of stakeholders involved in the management of the Strangford and Lecale Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and the Strangford Lough Marine Protected Area. It is funded by the Department for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council, and Ards and North Down Borough Council.