Press Release

New Irish Coastal Network Announced at UCC - 4 April 2006

The issues of coastal erosion and flooding and the impacts of tourism on coastal destinations are the subjects under discussion in UCC this week (4-8 April 2006). UCC’s Coastal and Marine Research Centre (CMRC) is playing host to 70 delegates from 11 European countries who have a range of experience in dealing with coastal issues, from coping with mass tourism in the Canaries to developing sustainable tourism strategies for the Danish coast.

According to CMRC manager, Valerie Cummins, “We have much to learn from our European counterparts when it comes to coastal zone management. Furthermore, opportunities exist for improving the level of dialogue on coastal issues between the research community and policy makers here at the national level. In Ireland at present we have no forum for communication in the form of a national coastal network or national coastal conference.” This is about to change, as Cummins has been instrumental in the establishment of the Irish Coastal Network (ICoNet), to be launched this evening (4 April) in conjunction with the coastal events taking place in UCC this week.

ICoNet aims to promote good practice in coastal management by bringing together coastal practitioners, policy makers, researchers and the general public with an interest in the sustainable development of Ireland’s coast. The network will be managed in partnership between representatives from the Department of Communications Marine and Natural Resources, the Marine Institute, the Heritage Council, NUIG, the University of Ulster, Enterprise Ireland and UCC. Participation in ICoNet will be free. Interested parties should contact Cathal O Mahony of the CMRC; 021 4703100.

Meanwhile, the visiting experts from around Europe have been busy becoming acquainted with the West Cork coastline. On Sunday (2 April) the CMRC facilitated a visit to Baltimore and Sherkin Island, including a boat tour of Roaringwater Bay, to highlight the potential for the development of eco-tourism products in the region and linking with research underway in the Centre to develop Tourism Quality Milestones for sustainable coastal destinations.

For further information please contact: Valerie Cummins, Coastal & Marine Research Centre, University College Cork, Naval Base, Haulbowline, Cobh, County Cork, Tel. 021 4703100

Valerie Cummins or Marie McSweeney, Assistant Press Officer, University College Cork, (T) 021 4902371; (M) 086 0845182.

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