One of Europe’s leading marine biologists was ‘horrified’ when she learned Donegal County Council plan to put a sewerage outfall pipe at an area in Inishowen which she believes should be preserved.
During a ‘scouting mission’ to Moville on Saturday, leading biologist Karen Dubsky discovered a seagrass bed, which is a vital sea habitat, at the exact point in Glenburnie where the Carnagarve Sewerage Treatment plant plans to discharge effluent.
Renowned expert, Ms Dubsky from Coast Watch Europe was in Moville as part of bio-diversity week and to survey Lough Foyle for seagrass.
Rose Kelly from the Celebrate Water group, said Ms Dubsky was really impressed by what Moville and Greencastle had to offer.
But she said she was horrified when she was told about the sewerage outfall pipe.
“We asked Karen to come to Moville for the Celebrate Water Festival we are having later in the month and she said she would like to come to Moville to map and search the Foyle for seagrass beds. This gives you an indication how important the Foyle is.
“The existence of Seagrass is a good indication of the water quality in an area and if you have it you have to protect it as it is an important habitat.”
She added: “Karen was horrified after we found the seagrass bed at Glenburnie that Donegal County Council plan to put a sewerage outfall pipe in the same place. She said straight away that can’t happen.
“It’s beggars belief. How can the Council not be aware of the seagrass and if they are why would they go ahead with the planned outfall pipe.”
Ms Kelly said throughout the weekend the area around Glenburnie was packed with people enjoying the water, beaches and sunshine.
“This would not happen if the Council go ahead with the sewerage system. We’re not doubting a proper sewerage system is needed in the area but it has to be done right.”
The Moville lady said she was “heartened” to witness the community effort involved on Saturday to help the Marine Biologist find the seagrass.
“It was a lovely community effort where people said look what we have on our doorstep and we need to protect the Foyle. We were helped by the rowing club who took us out to the seagrass. It was a very positive day overall and showed how the community don’t want to take the environment for granted.”
Rose and her colleague Kathleen O’Hara Farren will be launching the Celebrate Water festival on June 5, international water day and plan to run the festival from June 15 - 24.
“We have a wide variety of events and talks planned for all ages and we have had great support from the Rowing Club and Just Kayak so it should be a great festival,” explained Rose.
For more on the festival and to keep up to date with what’s going on see www.facebook.com/celebratewater