A leading European environmental scientist has stated ‘something must be done as a matter of urgency’ about the discharge of sewage off Moville Pier.
Coastwatch International marine ecologist Karin Dubsky said damage was being caused to the Lough Foyle water system by the discharge.
Her comments follow on from an inspection at low tide last Saturday morning when a group of community volunteers assemebled at the pier in Moville.
Accompanying the locals was an international group of scientists from Germany, Italy, Spain and Canada led by by Ms Dubsky
Commenting after the survey on Saturday, Ms. Dubsky reported that the group had discovered a much larger seagrass bed than they had found during the first phase of the survey in May. She expressed concern that the bulk of the bed was stressed and unhealthy but was encouraged by the presence of some young, healthy plants.
Ms Dubsky said the poor health of the seagrass was due to eutrophication of the water, that is the influx of excessive nitrates into the water and most likely due to sewage effluent or agricultural run-off. She voiced ‘very serious concerns’ at the raw sewage going into the water at Moville as well as the proposal by Donegal County Council to locate a sewage discharge pipe into the Foyle directly where the seagrass bed is located.
‘Something needs to be done about the sewage off Moville pier as a matter of urgency’, stressed Ms Dubsky. ‘Discharging onto a seagrass bed and along traditional bathing beaches and a recreational walk, makes no sense at all. Lough Foyle and its environs exists as a stunning natural environment of international importance. Quite simply it needs to be protected and the community many of who have worked so hard over the years for the environment, need to be protected and supported in their conservation efforts by those in a position to do so.’
The team of scientists collected photographic records of the seagrass surveyed using camera equipment provided by the Loughs Agency and received evidence gathered by a Celebrate Water! volunteer