What’s all this about Dublin Bay
You may have heard or seen many a facebook post or article about the proposed dumping in Dublin Bay, so what’s this all about and why have CFT got involved? Dublin Bay is a hive of budding marine life, over the past number of years the water quality has improved greatly and thankfully so has the vis!! In fact the government turned the whole of the bay into a Special Area of Conservation recognising the importance of preserving both the harbour porpoise and rock reefs. These reefs are not only home to the abundant life but are also second home to many Dublin divers
When IUC received a notice of proposed dumping in this special area of conservation we were justifiably concerned of the effects it would have on visibility and hence safety for our divers. Also as stakeholders in the protection of our shared marine resources we were also concerned about the impact this might have on the myriad of life that relies on the reefs. When we investigated this matter further we found a litany of apparent failures in both the awarding and policing of the current Dumping at Sea permit by the Environmental Protection Agency. Very quickly this issue became more than just about visibility in the bay but about the ethical use of our marine resources and the lack of protection for them. This is not just a Dublin Bay problem, Dumping at Sea permits are awarded nationwide so this has a potential knock on effect on other coastal locations.
So what have we done?
The IUC along with Oceandivers, Flagship Scuba and Lambay Diving formed a working group Divers Against Dumping. We have on numerous occasions attempted to enter into discussions with the EPA and the government regarding our concerns. We lodged 37 different complaints with the EPA including repeatedly dumping outside the licensed dump site. To date we have not received feedback from the EPA regarding these concerns except to quote that the current dumping is a “project” and not a “plan” and so is not subject to the same environmental assessments as a plan would. This use of the English language to circumnavigate the rules seems to us unacceptable. We have sought legal advice and opinion both of which has stated that our interpretation of the laws on the environment are correct and that the issues we raised are both ethically and legally valid.
It is unfortunate that small companies such as ours have had to invest so much time and effort into policing something that is supposed to be the job of our State Bodies, however for the sake of not just Dublin Bay but other sites around the country we felt the issues we uncovered could not be left lie.
You can help!
Dublin Bay is a wonderful resource and one we hope will continue to thrive into the future, we hope you will join us to sign an online petition to suspend the dumping in the bay and take the time to look for other options both for this permit and future ones around the country.
You can access the survey by clicking here: https://my.uplift.ie/petitions/divers-against-dumping?source=facebook-share-button&time=1466694015
A full copy of our complaint to the EPA is available on request to firstname.lastname@example.org
We would like to take this moment to acknowledge and especially thank Tim Butter for his Trojan work on this issue to date.