Catchment News

March 22 & 23: Reimagining Irish Rivers: working with nature – free online conference

On the 22 and 23 March a host of exciting talks looking after our rivers will be given by experts and project leaders in the field of river conservation and management to explore how we Re-imagine Irish Rivers and work with nature.

To celebrate World Water Day 2021, join us for this two-day conference as we reimagine Irish rivers through working with nature. The event will feature leading experts, practitioners and community groups connected with rivers. There will be opportunities for deeper participation and discussion during Q&A sessions.  

You can watch this conference LIVE on YouTube here: – registration details are below.

Nature is an excellent teacher, for those who are open to learning. This conference will look at how nature can guide us to restore rivers and manage the pressures affecting them. Experts continue to learn from societies and civilisations that co-exist with nature rather than against it. Such knowledge is fundamental to addressing the causes of the water, biodiversity, and climate crises.  

Day 1: Restoration, Management, and Biodiversity

Featuring well-known author Padraig Fogarty. The central theme, ‘Working with Nature and Natural Places’, will set the context for the event.

We will explore possibilities for prioritising nature in work practices, projects, and plans. Speakers from Ireland and the UK will present emerging concepts and practical examples of:

  • Hydromorphology (water flow and energy);
  • Geomorphological (land features);
  • Natural Water Retention and Flood Management; and0
  • Improvements for fish passage.

Day 2: Communities & Rivers

The focus will be on community participation and their role in catchments.

  • Two Rivers Trusts will give updates on their work.
  • Four large scale locally led European Innovation Projects water catchment-based project, with different lead organisations will give examples of the innovative results-based model codesigned and delivered by farmers and landowners.
  • Invasive species, their control and biosecurity will be addressed from the communities’ perspective.
  • How communities can engage in catchment management through understanding their sense of place, what supports are available and how they can engage in river restoration, and citizen science.
  • The conference will conclude with the launch of the new Citizen Science aquatic invertebrate monitoring scheme. 

This event will be held online via Zoom and you can register here:

Get involved by registering early and let us know if there any topics you would like to see covered within the programme. 

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This event is organised by Limerick City & County Council (Limerick European Green Leaf City 2020), Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), The Rivers Trust, Mary Immaculate College (Geography) & Maigue Rivers Trust.

Morning 1, 22 March, 9.00-13.00

Keynote:  Rewilding Pádraic Fogarty (Irish Wildlife Trust) 
Riparian Management William Cormacan/Sam Birch (NPWS) 
Hydromorphology – what does a natural river look like? Hamish Moir (cBEC) 
Natural Flood Management: the potential, the process  Dan Turner (The Rivers Trust) 
The Irish context for Natural Flood Management Conor Galvin (OPW) 
Dam and weir removal practical examples and procedural issues Alan Cullagh (IFI)
Invasive species threat and responses  Collette O’Flynn (NBDC)
River Loobagh Giant Hogweed Control Fran Giaquinto (Indep. Consultant)
Biosecurity and conserving endangered crayfish  Brian Nelson (NPWS)

Morning 2, 23 March, 9.00-13.00

Catchment partnerships Maigue & Inishowen Rivers Trusts  Liz Gabbett/Trish Murphy
Bride – European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) Report Donal Sheehan 
Mulkear – EIP Report Carol Quish
Allow – EIP Report Maura Walsh
Duncannon – EIP Report Eoin Kinsella 
Integrating communities into catchment management Fran Igoe (LAWPRO)
Proactive community engagement for scalable river restoration Ruairí Ó Conchúir (LAWPRO)
Six communities working on the ground  – small initiatives
Developing support tools for citizen scientists The Rivers Trust
Citizen science in freshwater conservation and management across Ireland Mary Kelly Quinn (UCD) / Simon Harrison (UCC) 
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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 water bodies.

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 Programme.


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.


Environmental Protection Agency

The EPA is responsible for coordinating the monitoring, assessment and reporting on the status of our 4,842 water bodies, looking at trends and changes, determining which waterbodies are at risk and what could be causing this, and drafting environmental objectives for each.


Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage

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 to protect and restore our waters.