Thousands set to take part in the National Environmental Initiative in celebration of Ireland’s beautiful beaches

2nd May 2011: Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan, TD today launched Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week. Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week is a national initiative run by An Taisce which empowers communities to protect and celebrate their local coastal environment. The week takes place from Friday 11th to Friday 18th May 2012 and forms part of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts Programme.

Ireland has 5,000 km of coastline, regarded to be among the most spectacular in the world and Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week encourages local communities to work together to protect this invaluable natural resource.

Thousands of people are expected to participate in the week and over 60 voluntary Coastcare groups have already signed up for the week, which is now in its third year.

Throughout the week a series of events will be taking place, including Ireland’s first ever National Marram Grass planting day with a headline event taking place in County Sligo. Marram Grass is hugely important for the protection of our beaches and dunes and creates a strong underground root system that protects dunes from erosion. A Surf Rescue event will also be taking place on Killiney Beach, in County Dublin where people will have the opportunity to see a demonstration by Ireland’s National Lifesaving Sport Squad and pick up some new surf rescue skills from the team. Annual events such as An Taisce’s now eagerly anticipated Clean Coasts photography competition and the Big Beach Clean will also be taking place. A detailed list of all nationwide events can be found on the newly created dedicated website – www.cleancoastsweek.ie – where people can also register details of their own events in their local areas.

Minister Phil Hogan said “In Ireland we have such an extensive and beautiful coastline. I support the Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts week initiative because it emphasises the importance of looking after our coastline. It is in the national interest that we all try to protect and improve the high quality of our coastline which is a major feature in selling Ireland as a tourist destination abroad. I would encourage as many people as possible to get involved and participate in the many varied activities that will take place throughout the week to help make our coastline the best it can be and to attract visitors from both near and far”.

Speaking about Coca‑Cola’s support of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts Programme, Erica Roseingrave, Coca‑Cola Hellenic Ireland said: “Coca‑Cola is committed to investing in the local environment, protecting the natural beauty of our beaches and encouraging community participation in preserving our landscape. The Coca Cola Clean Coasts Week programme emphasises the important role that we can all play, in conserving our marine environment. We are delighted to once again partner with An Taisce in support of this initiative, where all across the country, local communities will be coming together to celebrate the wonderful natural resource that is our extensive coastline.”

Patricia Oliver, An Taisce, Education Director, said “We’ve already had a fantastic response for this year’s Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts week and we are very proud of the work of An Taisce’s Coastcare groups who volunteer all year round to protect their local coastal area. We are delighted that, with the support of Coca‑Cola, we have an opportunity in this Clean Coasts Week to highlight their efforts and celebrate their achievements. We all have a responsibility in caring for our coastline.”
Coastcare groups are voluntary groups that care for a stretch of beach or coastline; and also form an important aspect of An Taisce’s ‘Green Coast Awards’. An Taisce’s prestigious Green Coast Awards are awarded to beaches for their excellent water quality, natural beauty, clean environment and sound environmental management. These beaches may not have the necessary built infrastructure to meet criteria set for Blue Flag status; however Green Coast Award beaches are exceptional places to visit and to enjoy our rich coastal heritage and diversity.

Help a coastline you love by participating in An Taisce’s Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week, register online www.cleancoastsweek.ie .

The Clean Coasts programme is owned and operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is supported by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government, Coca‑Cola and Fáilte Ireland.

-ENDS-

Media Contact
Q4 Public Relations 01 475 1444
Fionnuala Kavanagh / Sile Murphy

Notes to the Editor:
Full list of events are available at www.cleancoastsweek.ie
Headline Events
Date
Event
Location
In conjunction with
Details

11-13 May
The Big Beach Clean
Nationwide
Coastcare groups
Coastcare groups from all over Ireland will be participating in beach cleans throughout the country.

13 May
11am – 5pm
Open event
Surf Rescue
Killiney Beach
Irish Water Safety
Dublin Water Safety Area Committee
Opportunity to see Ireland’s National Lifesaving Sport Squad demonstrate their skills in training to represent our Country at the International Lifesaving Championships.
Bring your wetsuit & learn new skills in Surf Rescue from Ireland’s Top Athletes & Coaching Team.

14 May
18:30
Invite only
Our Coastal Heritage Lighthouses of Ireland
Commissioners of Irish Lights
Commissioners of Irish Lights
As part of the Coca‑Cola Clean Coasts Week 2012 programme of activities organised by AN TAISCE - THE NATIONAL TRUST FOR IRELAND, Eoghan Lehane (Commissioners of Irish Lights) is presenting a talk entitled “Commissioners of Irish Lights and Lighthouses of Ireland”. The presentation will provide information on the history and role of Irish Lights together with a pictorial tour of lighthouses around the Irish coast.

16 May
Open to all
Launch of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts Photography Competition
Nationwide
Photography Ireland
The theme of this year’s competition is “Love Your Coast”.
The details will be confirmed shortly.

May 17
18:30 – 20:30
Invite only
Screening of Farraigí na hÉireann
Denzille Lane Cinema, Dublin
TG4 & Sea Fever Productions
The screening will be of Clár 4 - 'Idir Thrá is Tuile' - Between the Tides.......
As the tide draws back twice a day, people have the opportunity to explore the undersea world along the shore. Here only the hardiest of creatures can survive the dramatic change of living half their lives underwater and half above.
Farraigí na hÉireann is a six part Irish Ocean Wildlife series produced for TG4 by Sea Fever Productions from Lahinch in Co. Clare.

May 18
National Marram Grass Planting Day
Sligo, Kerry, Dublin, Galway & Cork
An Taisce & Coast care Groups
Details being finalised at the moment.

Coca‑Cola
Coca‑Cola is Ireland's largest manufacturer of premium non-alcoholic beverages and supplies a range of sparkling carbonated beverages, juices, mineral water and still drinks in the Irish marketplace. Overall, the Coca‑Cola system employs 1900 across the island of Ireland in locations including Dublin, Cork, Tuam, Ballina, Wexford, Athy, Drogheda, Lisburn and Omagh. Investing in the community and minimising environmental impact and ensuring resource sustainability in areas such water, energy and packaging is a key focus for Coca‑Cola. Coca‑Cola has also invested in an innovative green-tech Combined Heat and Power (CHP) plant at its Irish production facility in Lisburn the first quad-generation CHP plant in Britain or Ireland.