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  • Southside

Schools go Green for the marine

Friday, 7th February, 2020 1:00pm
Schools go Green for the marine

Kate Ann O Leary (10), Frances McCann (10), Paddy Walsh (11) and Cian O Cadhla (11) at the Green-Schools Marine Environment Conference in The Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire.

Schools go Green for the marine

Kate Ann O Leary (10), Frances McCann (10), Paddy Walsh (11) and Cian O Cadhla (11) at the Green-Schools Marine Environment Conference in The Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire.

A TOTAL of 20 schools from across Ireland participated in the Green-Schools Marine Environment Conference in The Royal Marine Hotel, Dún Laoghaire last week.

The annual event, which is in its fourth successful year, began on Wednesday.

The conference, which focuses on the value of our marine environment, was opened by Dr Michael John O’Mahony, Director, An Taisce Environmental Education Unit and Conall O’Connor from the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government.

Attending the conference as the keynote speaker was world-class wildlife presenter and author, Nick Baker, who delivered an inspirational presentation of his many adventures exploring strange creatures from the watery depths of our seas and oceans.

Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter welcomed the attending schools.

“This national conference is one of the highlights of our year,” she said.

“We have such a strong connection to our marine environment in Ireland and it’s a joy to celebrate it with these inspirational students and teachers today.

“We are so grateful to the Department of Housing, Planning and Local Government for their support and to our wonderful guest speakers for joining us.”

Throughout the conference, each participating school exhibited a project relating to an issue concerning marine life.

‘Wellbeing at the sea’, ‘Climate change and the marine environment’ and ‘Microplastics’ were just some of the topics selected for these projects.

Local students from Dominican College, Sion Hill delivered presentations to the audience on their school’s extensive work on the Green-Schools Marine Environment theme. 

During a series of activities delivered by Green-Schools Officers, including listening to ‘the sounds of the sea’ and ‘colour in the coral reef’, students gained a deeper insight into the importance of conserving the marine environment.

Towards the end of the event students were transported back in time to a seafaring world with the Howth Singing Circle who led the group in a lively chorus of sea shanties.

To conclude the day on a positive and resonating note, students were motivated by a call to action to collectively value and protect the marine environment.

The Global Citizenship Marine Environment is the eighth theme of the Green-Schools programme.

Across Ireland there are over 4,000 schools registered on the Green-Schools programme and over 900,000 young people actively contributing .

Green-Schools (known internationally as Eco-Schools), is an environmental management education programme and award scheme that promotes and acknowledges long-term, whole-school action for the environment.

It is currently operating in 68 countries around the world including almost all EU member states, Africa, South America, North America, Canada, Oceania and Asia.

Green-Schools is an initiative of FEE (the Foundation for Environmental Education).

The programme is coordinated in Ireland by An Taisce, and supported by the Department of Housing, Planning, and local Government and the Department of Communications.

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