25th September

Environmental legislation is not to blame for latest flooding disaster

In the aftermath of widespread flooding throughout many parts of Ireland in late December when a month’s average rainfall fell in matter of hours, the European Commission has responded to accusations that habitat directives are partly to blame.

Craughwell

Flooding in Craughwell, Co Galway                                                                                     Photo John Conaghan

‘Any suggestion that EU environmental rules are somehow to blame…..is completely without foundation. EU law does not ban dredging. The Water Framework Directive (WFD) and the Floods Directive do not include detailed rules on how Member States manage their water courses. That is decided by the Member States themselves.

Read more: Environmental legislation is not to blame for latest flooding disaster

Finger pointing and quick-fixes won’t solve the flooding crisis

InshoreIreland email

It’s hardly surprising that this issue of Inshore Ireland focuses on the widespread flooding that has been in the headlines since early December and continues to bring hardship, misery and cost to dozens of families in the Shannon flood plain and elsewhere.

It should be no surprise either that the first response towards solving this recurring event is a lot of finger pointing: find someone to blame and find a quick-fix solution.

Read more: Finger pointing and quick-fixes won’t solve the flooding crisis

Irish lake features in global analyses on climate change

Lough Feeagh, Co Mayo, is one of 235 lakes worldwide that was monitored in a 25 study. More than 60 global scientists participated in the research which is now published in the journal, Geophysical Research Letters.L.Feeagh Ireland

Lough Feenagh, Co Mayo, one of 235 lakes worldwide in a 25 year monitoring study. Photo Mary Dillane, Marine Institute

The study found that lakes are warming on average 0.34˚C every decade, and at a greater rate than either the oceans or the atmosphere, with profound effects that threaten freshwater supplies and ecosystems. While representing a fraction of the world’s lakes, they contain more than half of the globe’s freshwater supply.

Read more: Irish lake features in global analyses on climate change

COP21: EU pressure on Ireland for a 'credible plan'

The landmark Paris Agreement will not deliver the climate stability it promises, without consistent public pressure for action and accountability, according to Friends of the Earth.

It will however increase the pressure on Ireland as the attention turns to negotiations in Brussels in 2016, to agree each country's 2030 target, says the environmental justice organisation.

globe

Speaking from Paris, FoE Ireland chair, Dr Cara Augustenborg said the Agreement was too weak to deliver climate justice and safety on its own and that the gap between ambition and action was too big.

Read more: COP21: EU pressure on Ireland for a 'credible plan'

Raw, untreated sewage continues to pump into Irish water

Ireland's coastal waters, lakes and rivers continue to be polluted by untreated sewage pumping from 45 urgan areas, over half of which are in counties Cork, Donegal and Galway. 143 out of 174 or 82% of large urban areas meet mandatory EU quality standards, up 8% in two years. 

EPA waste water 2014 report edited 1

The EPA Urban Waste Water Treatment Report for 2014 highlights the need for investment in waste water infrastructure to eliminate the discharge of raw sewage and to meet EU standards intended to prevent adverse environmental and public health risks. 

Read more: Raw, untreated sewage continues to pump into Irish water

Second international sea trout symposium

Scientists, managers and policy makers gathered in Dundalk, Co Louth, to discuss conservation and protection of sea trout, to develop national sea trout policies. Central to discussions was the wider application of an 'evidence-based' approach to management and regulation.

 

International sea trout symposium

Denis Maher, DCENR; Dr Ciaran Byrne, chief executive, IFI; Cynthia Smith, DCAL NI and Dr Cathal Gallaher, IFI

Sea trout is a valuable natural resource offering an 'exceptional angling experience'. Irish fisheries managers are therefore very focused on sustainable management and stock restoration, according to event organisers, Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Read more: Second international sea trout symposium

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