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Bantry Bay Port firm gets schools involved in marine litter fight

February 15th, 2019 5:50 PM

By Southern Star Team

Aoife Deane of UCC with Sara MacKeown of Port of Cork with Caomihe Mc Sweeney, Emily Rose and Caoimhe Ni Bheara of Scoil Bhríde Crosshaven, with their ‘Bloom of Plastic Jelly Fish'.

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BANTRY Bay Port Company is spearheading an educational initiative around marine litter and highlighting the value of the local harbour.

Teaming up with MaREI, the UCC research centre for marine and renewable energy in Ringaskiddy to deliver an educational, the initiative aims to make school children aware of marine litter and the detrimental effects it can have on our oceans, harbour and shorelines.

Themed ‘Maintaining a Healthy Harbour’, classes are encouraged to collect and use marine litter and recycled items to create a 3D art project that will make people stop and think. 

Researchers estimate that over 10m tonnes of litter ends up in the world’s oceans each year and 1m seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals (seals, whales, dolphins) die every year because of marine litter through entanglement or ingestion. 

There is a growing public awareness of the issue, and with almost half of all marine litter being made up of just 10 types of single-use plastic items, we can take steps to tackle the problem. 

 Bantry Bay Port Company chief executive Brendan Keating said: ‘Our schools Initiative has gone from strength to strength and this year are we delighted to partner with MaREI. They have great expertise in this area and their guidance in shaping the theme has been invaluable.’

He continued: ‘The issue of marine litter is apparent in all harbours and it is so important that school children recognise the impacts marine litter can have on a harbour both in and out of the water. As well as being educational, our initiative is fun and children have a great opportunity to be creative. I would strongly encourage primary schools in West Cork to take part in this initiative.’

 MaREI’s communications and public engagement Manager, Aoife Deane, added: ‘We are delighted to be collaborating with Bantry Bay Port Company on their outreach initiative highlighting the value of Bantry harbour. The Healthy Harbour theme encourages students to think about the sources and impact of marine litter, and our reliance on single use plastics. The exhibition of their artwork is an opportunity to highlight these issues to a wider audience.’

All participating classes will be offered a complimentary boat trip to Whiddy Island and a tour of the island in May/June 2019.

A panel of judges will select the most creative projects and from these select an overall ‘best’ project.  The class who receives ‘Best Project’ will be given a special prize. 

The closing date for entries is Friday 12th April. For more information see https://www.bantrybayport.com/

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