Comprehensive bird survey of Shannon Estuary

Comprehensive bird survey of Shannon Estuary

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Sunset on the Shannon Estuary – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The most comprehensive bird population and habitat survey ever undertaken on the Shannon Estuary has been announced. 

The year-long study is being undertaken by McCarthy Keville O’Sullivan on behalf of the Shannon Estuary Strategic Infrastructure Framework Plan (SIFP) Steering Group, comprising stakeholders engaged in the development and management of Ireland’s largest and deepest estuary.

The region’s local authorities, namely Clare County Council, Kerry County Council and Limerick City & County Council, have joined with Shannon Group and Shannon Foynes Port Company in promoting ‘Deep Water Marine Investment Opportunities’ on 1,220 hectares of land at 6 Strategic Development Locations deemed appropriate for marine-related investment.

The sites, which are zoned for marine-related industry in Regional and Local statutory development plans, include  Moneypoint (280Ha), Innismurry/Cahericon (65Ha) in Clare, Askeaton (98Ha), Foynes Island (40Ha), and Foynes Port and adjoining lands (186Ha) in Limerick, and Tarbert – Ballylongford Landbank (550Ha) in Kerry.

The bird population and habitat survey will be the most comprehensive undertaken – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017

The proposed bird usage survey area stretches from Limerick City to where the Shannon Estuary meets the Atlantic Ocean in West Clare and North Kerry. The survey begins during May and is being carried out in accordance with the EU Birds Directive which dictates that an assessment of any such development requires that the most up-to-date comprehensive geospatial data on bird populations is available.

The Shannon Estuary features 500km2 of navigable water running from Kerry Head and Loop Head as far as Limerick City, a distance of 100km. The Estuary is Ireland’s premier deepwater port routinely catering for ships up to 200,000 deadweight tonnage (dwt) with key ports at Limerick and Foynes and direct connectivity to all major international shipping lanes. It is home to a number of large industries and employers, including ESB Moneypoint, Aughinish Alumina, Tarbert Power Station, Shannon International Airport and NORA Fuel Reserve.

Please see http://www.shannonestuarysifp.ie/contact-us for relevant contact details.

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Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.

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