Clean Coasts announced the winners of the 12th Love Your Coast photography competition during their virtual awards ceremony.
The Love Your Coast competition is an integral part of the Clean Coasts programme. Ireland has some of the most spectacular and diverse coastlines in the world. For the past 12 years, the ‘Love Your Coast’ competition has been about capturing the essence of the Irish coastline, its beauty, and its diverse character.
Being Ireland’s foremost community-based coastal programme, Clean Coasts counts on the work of nearly 2,000 volunteer groups nationwide to help protect our coastline, waterways, seas, ocean, and marine life. Once more, Clean Coasts’ volunteers and groups have been eager to engage with us and support the fight against marine pollution. Clean Coasts mission is to foster pride in our coastline and waterways and each year the Love Your Coast competition is an opportunity to see this reflected in the entries.
For the Love Your Coast 2021 competition, almost 1,300 entries were received – the most entries the Love Your Coast competition has had to date.
Clean Coasts’ Love Your Coast Photography awards were held virtually for the second year in a row, where the winning photographers for the Love Your Coasts Photography competition were announced. The competition had a prize fund of €5,000 for the amateur photographers competing in five categories: Coastal Heritage, Coastal Landscape, People & the Coast, Wildlife & the Coast and the introduction of a brand-new Love Your Coast Category for 2021, Creativity and the Coast.
2021 saw Clare photographer Mike Orth win second place in the Wildlife and Underwater category for his photo entitled Compass by Cave Light that was taken at the entrance to Donegal Point Cave in Kilkee, County Clare.
Moreover, Gavin Sheehan with the picture titled Finavarra Under the Night Sky and Piotr Machowczyk with the photograph Mighty Cliffs of Moher were shortlisted in the top ten images for the Coastal Heritage and Coastal Landscape, respectively.
The 50 best shots were shortlisted by the Love Your Coast judges for an online gallery. Winning images showcased the stunning coastlines of Wexford, Donegal, Waterford and Galway.
Michael John O’Mahony, director of the Environmental Education Unit said: “This is the 12th year of the competition and it has been very successful and very well received and we have seen some of the most amazing photographs of our coast over the last number of years. This is more than just a photography competition: we are an island nation and our coast and marine environment are incredibly important to us. Clean Coasts has almost 2,000 volunteer groups who are doing amazing work when it comes to managing and protecting our marine environment, so these photographs are a way for everybody to appreciate and celebrate our coast and be inspired to get involved too.”
Clean Coasts would like to wish a huge congratulations to Clare based winner Mike Orth and thank all of the Clare entrants for submitting their photographs.