Catchment News

Maigue Rivers Trust launched in Limerick

The Maigue Rivers Trust was launched in Croom on Friday, May 26th, with a mission ‘to protect, enhance and cherish the rivers and lakes of the Maigue catchment for the benefit and enjoyment of all’.

 

“I want to congratulate everyone involved in the launch of this Trust. This is a community initiative which seeks to see the benefit of rivers and waterways on our environment and the contribution they make to our local areas. The rivers in County Limerick flow through some of the most beautiful landscapes in Ireland, and we have to make sure that we try to protect them and look after them so as to maintain habitats, protect drinking water and enhance our communities. I want  to wish the Trust well in their work for the future and to thank all of the various different sectoral representatives for their work on this project.” – Patrick O’Donovan, Minister for Tourism and Sport, at the launch of the Maigue Rivers Trust.

The Maigue Rivers Trust came about after a pollution incident on the River Loobagh (one of the major tributaries of the Maigue) which occurred in August 2014. Following this, the community came together to look at ways in which it could engender a spirit of stewardship towards the river, resulting in the eventual formation of The Maigue Rivers Trust.

Several initiatives followed including works to improve the habitat for fish, an education and awareness programme, and a pilot project to control giant hogweed in the catchment. The interest in these initiatives and in the river generally and the desire to further enhance this valuable resource led to the need for a more formal structure which would be better placed to help the community achieve its priorities for the river.

This led to a group of stakeholders undertaking a study trip to the Ballinderry Rivers Trust in Northern Ireland to look at how a Rivers Trust operated and to see if this was a model that would work for the Maigue. The group was very impressed by the success of the Ballinderry Trust and returned to Limerick convinced that this was what was needed to help the Maigue achieve its full potential.

Rivers Trusts are community initiatives started  by local people to care for their local rivers. River trusts are charities which aim to deliver river improvements on a catchment management scale for the public benefit.

Councillor Eddie Ryan is one of the Directors of the Trust. He said the Trust will help protect the Maigue and its catchment area stretching from Martinstown near Kilmallock to where the river enters the Shannon Estuary near Ferrybridge.

“Following the fish kill in the Loobagh River a number of years ago, the need to put measures in place to protect the river was brought to the fore. From then the project has grown to include the River Maigue and its large catchment area. In order to protect the Riverway and help promote and enhance it, all stakeholders need to buy-in to the project and the idea of a Rivers Trust. We all own the rivers and we all have a responsibility to protect it and the develop it, we need the farming associations and community, fishing groups, other users of the river,  schools,  local associations  to get involved. It is a brilliant idea which will have significant benefits for all in the long run”

 

Get involved with The Maigue Rivers Trust

You can contact Maigue Rivers Trust if you wish  to get involved – info@maigueriverstrust.ie or 061 407547

A version of this article originally appeared on www.ilovelimerick.ie

You can read more about the background to this story here – https://www.catchments. ie/catchment-case-study-river-loobagh/

 

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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 and Communities Office

The Waters and Communities Office has been established to carry out public consultation and engagement, and to coordinate the activities of all 31 local authorities in areas connected with the Water Framework Directive.

EPA

Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4829 waterbodies, looking at trends and changes and 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.