BY JACKIE KEOGH
BANTRY’S Coomhola Salmon Trust picked up a major award for the Most Significant Contribution to Water Quality at the Community and Council Awards in Dublin.
Coomhola Salmon Trust – the only non-government organisation on the shortlist – won the 2017 IPB/LAMA award for its StreamScapes Waters and Wilds Community Engagement Programme.
The directors of Coomhola Salmon Trust, Mark Boyden and Paul Kearney, accepted the award on behalf of ‘every school, student, teacher and community that we have ever worked with throughout Ireland north and south, over the past 25 years. ‘It is their award too,’ Mark Boyden said as he paid tribute to the groups who participated in StreamScapes projects in catchments all around the country from Cork and Kerry to Limerick, Clare and Galway.
The programme also included cross-border initiatives in the River Erne in Fermanagh, as well projects on the Ulster Blackwater, which involved groups from Monaghan, Tyrone, and Armagh.
The Local Authority Members’ Association/LAMA Community & Council Awards is sponsored by IPB Insurance; and the awards are presented annually to State agencies, local authorities and community initiatives.
The StreamScapes award acknowledged the programme’s catchment-based approach to promoting citizens’ awareness and stewardship of local aquatic and biodiversity resources.
Bantry Chamber of Commerce President, Neill Clarke, told The Southern Star: ‘This award is well deserved considering the years of hard work that the directors have put into the programme. They were pioneers in terms of tackling the issue of clean water and protecting it for future generations.’