Ardglass harbour clean-up

Ardglass harbour clean-up

11 September 2019

VOLUNTEERS from a number of groups joined forces recently to remove unsightly marine litter from the bays around Ardglass harbour. 

The Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership and Northern Ireland Fishery Harbour Authority worked to tackle the problem with local people, using innovation and teamwork across communities, clubs, councils and businesses.

The Partnership’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, chairman of the Partnership’s Stakeholder Committee, said the success of the project to clean up coastlines lies with 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,” he said. “Our thanks to all those who support this project. We couldn’t do it without you.” 

The team effort co-ordinated by the Partnership, working in conjunction with the Harbour Authority and community volunteers, resulted in three quarters of a tonne of litter being collected and removed from the marine environment.

Newry, Mourne and Down Council chairman, Charlie Casey, said he was 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.”

Ardglass harbourmaster, James Lenaghan, said the Fishery Harbour Authority is delighted to have been able to work with Strangford Lough and Lecale Partnership on yet another successful shore clean-up in Ardglass. 

He added: “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.”

The recent clean-up took place following the recent publication of the Marine Litter report produced by Keep Northern Ireland Beautiful. It revealed that there are 625 items of litter, on average, per 100m of beach in Northern Ireland. 

The says that marine litter and plastic pollution pose a “significant threat to people and wildlife.

The report declared: “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.”