Catchment News

Community clean up of the St Johns River, Waterford

This article and accompanying photos were submitted by Mark Hosford, River Project Coordinator, Déise Natureways. 

Community spirit is alive and well in Waterford city.

On Saturday 29th September a diverse collection of community groups and volunteers from the local area came together to conduct a much needed clean up of the St John’s River. The St. John’s River flows past the Kilbarry Marsh an important natural heritage area on the outskirts of the city, through the heart of the City before joining the River Suir at Scotch Quay. The river acts as a wildlife corridor between these two important habitats and has historical and cultural significance, but in recent years it has grown increasingly congested due to illegal dumping.

The need for this clean up was recognised by the River Suir Group which is a collection of citizens and community groups including the Friends of the St. John’s River, that emerged out of a public meeting about the Suir and its tributaries that was held by the Local Authority Waters and Communities office.

One section of the river, between Hardy’s Bridge by the Peoples Park and John’s Bridge, was identified as being in need of cleaning as it was particularly badly effected by the dumping and also very visible to the public. The clean up was a collaborative effort involving members of the River Suir Group, Waterford Civil Defence, the Naval Reserve, Friends of the St. John’s River, Waterford City and County Council and Dèise Natureways. On the day, 20 or so hard working volunteers with the support of the City and County Council managed to remove a lorry load of rubbish from the river, including several car batteries, tyres, traffic cones, bikes, scooters and shopping trolleys.

This event, organised by Mark Hosford of Dèise Natureways and Cllr. Eddie Mulligan, is the first in a series of clean up events and other projects which will be organised by the River Suir Group.
A second clean up event took place on Saturday the 26th of November and tackled a section of the river near Poleberry in the city centre.

http://www.deisenatureways.ie/

Who is involved?

Quite simply, everyone in Ireland has a role to play. This can be from something as simple as making sure you don’t pollute your local stream, or a local community working together to establish a Rivers Trust to enhance the rivers and lakes in their area, to a Government Department or Agency helping a Minister implement a new policy to help protect and enhance all our waterbodies.

This website has been developed and is maintained by the Environmental Protection Agency, and is a collaboration between the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government, the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Local Authority Waters and Communities Office.

LAWCO

Local Authority Waters Programme

The Local Authority Waters Programme coordinates the efforts of local authorities and other public bodies in the implementation of the River Basin Management Plan, and supports local community and stakeholder involvement in managing our natural waters, for everyone’s benefit.

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,829 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives and measures for each.

DECLG

Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government

The Department is responsible for making sure that the right policies, regulations and resources are in place to implement the Water Framework Directive, and developing a River Basin Management Plan and Programme of Measures that will be implemented after public consultation and sign off by the Minister.