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October 2004

CMRC Affected by October Floods

Extensive flooding occurred around Southern Ireland in late October, due to a combination of extremely high tides, strong southerly winds and heavy rainfall. The CMRC escaped any damage, but staff were impacted on the night of October 27th when the road leading off Haulbowline Island was cut off by high water. Two staff members had to spend the night in the office. They took some video at the peak of the flooding, which can be seen here: View from side of building (1.6 MB Zipped .avi file) and view from front door (1.33 MB Zipped .avi file). The road was partly cleared of water and debris the following day.

Marine GIS Expert visits CMRC as Fulbright Senior Specialist

Visiting the GSI to learn about the Irish National Seabed Survey was one of the many things Dawn did during her busy visit.

Dr. Dawn Wright, Professor of Geography and Oceanography at Oregon State University, spent two weeks visiting the CMRC in October to share her expertise with researchers at the centre and learn about current projects. The Fulbright Senior Specialist Grant, which Dawn received to support her visit, matches American researchers with International Institutions to share expertise for a 2 to 6 week period.

During Dawn's visit she also travelled around Ireland for various meetings and presentations. In Dublin, she was a keynote speaker at IRLOGI 2004, and also met with the Irish National Seabed Survey group at the GSI. In Galway, she gave a seminar on the ArcGIS Marine Data Model at the Marine Institute. In Cork, she gave a geography department seminar at UCC.

A number of the meetings took place with CMRC researchers related to the various overlapping research areas, in particular with the Marine Irish Digital Atlas and the Oregon Coastal Atlas. As a result, ideas for future collaborative projects between the CMRC and OSU are in development.


September 2004

CMRC to lead €4M Integrated Coastal Management Project

Interreg Nothwest Europe has just approved a project, to be led by the CMRC, to bring countries in Northwest Europe to the forefront in Integrated Coastal Management practise. COREPOINT is made up of 12 partner organisations, including research centres and local authorities based in Ireland, the United Kingdom, Belgium, France and the Netherlands. The key objectives of the project are to:

  • Build European and local capacity to implement integrated coastal management programmes.
  • Provide concrete solutions for current problems in the Northwest region using current best practice approaches and identify models for sustaining ICZM initiatives.
  • Promote social and political responsibility for the coastal environment.
  • Influence national spatial policy development in response to the EU Recommendation on ICZM.
  • Develop an integrated coastal information management system for Northwest Europe.

A key action of the programme will see the implementation of practical ICM initiatives in local areas in the participating countries. In Ireland this will include sustainable beach management in Donegal and a coastal management study in Cork Harbour. For more information on this project, contact Valerie Cummins (v.cummins@ucc.ie).


Seal Biologists Visit Alaska

Michelle Cronin, a seal biologist at CMRC was recently awarded an International Collaboration Travel Support grant from Enterprise Ireland to visit researchers in Alaska. Scientists there have pioneered a successful technique for identifying and subsequently matching individual harbour seals using the natural markings on the animals’ pelage or skin. Such a technique, cheap and non-invasive, has useful applications in examining population parameters in Irish harbour seals. It builds on existing knowledge from the 2003 national population census and ongoing local monitoring of harbour seals in southwest Ireland.

Michelle spent a three-week period in Alaska working with scientists at the University of Alaska Southeast and Alaska’s Department of Fish and Game. She then travelled to a field camp on the frozen Beaufort Sea in the Arctic where she had first worked in 2001 on a ringed seal project. Experience gained in seal capturing, handling and telemetric methods will have further application to seal studies here in Ireland.

Arctiic fox, Click for full image Seal searching, Click for full image
Camp life, Click for full image Camp at night, Click for full image


July 2004

Wexford Declaration on Coastal Management Adopted

The Coastal Communities Network (CoCoNet) project successfully concluded its final workshop on June 17th with the adoption of the Wexford Declaration. Recognising community involvement as the cornerstone of the successful stewardship of coastal resources, the declaration urges Governments to support the empowerment of local communities, including local government, in local action programmes and policy formulation. The full text of the declaration can be found here.

Discussion Group at Wexford Workshop


CMRC Comes to Aid of Yacht During Cork Week

Members of the CMRC aboard their new RIB, Horizon, were recently called upon to rescue a yacht at the mouth of Cork Harbour during Cork Week. The yacht Tux, with eight crew members, had gotten into difficulties and run aground off of Ram's Head and Horizon was first to answer their radio distress signal. On arriving Horizon's crew secured the yacht until the Crosshaven's RNLI RIB arrived, and then towed the yacht off the rocks as the RNLI tilted the vessel using a line attached to Tux's main. The yacht and crew were then safely towed to Crosshaven where initial inspection revealed only superficial damage to the hull.


April 2004

New Spatial Dataset for Shoreline Management

The CMRC has developed tools to facilitate the monitoring, management, development and conservation of coastal, estuarine & riparian habitats through the creation of a comprehensive database of shoreline features. Maps, reports and statistics can be generated to assist planners, managers, and regulators in decisions pertaining to development, management and conservation of these areas and their natural resources. It is a homogeneous, comprehensive & updateable spatial database offering high-resolution information on shoreline type, shoreline features, adjacent land use and shoreline vulnerability. This dataset can be easily imported to any GIS system

The work is carried out using rigid inflatable boats that survey the coastline at high tide, enabling the most accurate collection of data. As the surveys are carried out on water, they are completed faster and more cost-effectively than surveys performed from land.

Snapshot of the Coastal Inventory dataset

Data is collected using sophisticated Global Positioning System and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technology. All of the post processing is done in-house by the CMRC, thereby allowing flexibility in individual survey design, data processing and visualisation end user output.

An Essential Tool for the Water Framework Directive?

A main objective of the Water Framework Directive is to establish an integrated monitoring and management system for all waters. The Coastal Inventory dataset could become an essential tool for the monitoring and management of coastal, estuarine and riparian waters.

For more information, contact details and a demonstration, please log onto the Coastal Inventory web page at http://coastalinventory.ucc.ie




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