Clare Water Safety and the Freagh Castle Clean Coast group in West Clare have beaten off competition from all over Ireland to win the Ocean Hero Beach Clean of the Year Award in recognition of their coastal cleanup near Miltown Malbay in early 2016.
Operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce, the Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards honour the contribution Ireland’s coastal communities towards conserving the country’s spectacular coastline. Prizes were awarded in six other categories this year, namely Individual of the Year, Business of the Year, School of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, Event of the Year and Think before you Flush Hero of the Year.
Claire McGrath of Clare Water Safety said, “Winning this award and undertaking cleanups along the coast highlights the strength of a community working together, with over seventy children and adults participating, including locals, members of Clare Water Safety, the 15th Miltown Scouts, Clare County Council, representatives from An Taisce, and Miltown Malbay Tidy Towns Committee, instructors, examiners and Clare County Council lifeguards.”
Commenting on the Clean Coasts programme, Karen Foley, Environmental Awareness Officer for Clare County Council, stated “The programme facilitates community guardianship of adopted stretches of coastline, establishes and supports Clean Coasts groups who engage in coastal management, and enhances the value of the coastline by reducing the impact of litter and other environmental damage, thus restoring the aesthetic appeal and increasing the amenity and economic value to local communities and tourists.”
Ms. Foley also acknowledged the work undertaken by Clare’s Clean Coast groups during 2016. She continued, “I encourage groups across Clare to get involved in the Clean Coasts programme. Clare County Council is supporting all Clean Coast groups by providing litter pickers, bags, gloves and free passes to transfer stations.”