The foreshore is the seabed and shore below the line of high water of ordinary or medium tides and extends outwards to the limit of twelve nautical miles (approximately 22.24 kilometres).
A foreshore licence must be obtained from the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government prior to the commencement of any works or activity (including the erection of any structures) on State-owned foreshore.
The Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Act 2009 amends Foreshore Acts 1933 -2003 transferring responsibility for certain foreshore functions to the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government with effect from 15 January 2010.
The Department of Environment, Community and Local Government is responsible for:
- All foreshore energy-related developments (including oil, gas, wind, wave and tidal energy)
- Aggregate and mineral extraction developments on the foreshore
- Foreshore projects in respect of port companies and harbour authorities governed by the Harbours Acts, 1946, 1996, and 2000, and foreshore projects in respect of any other harbour and harbour-related developments intended for commercial trade.
- All other foreshore projects, other than those relating to aquaculture and sea fisheries
The Marine Institute plays a key role in the regulation and licensing of these activities by Chairing and providing staff to the Marine Licence Vetting Committee (MLVC ) of the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government. This committee is comprised of technical, scientific and engineering specialists who advise the Minister in relation to the environmental impacts that may arise from proposed developments and recommend appropriate conditions in the event of approval.
Dumping at Sea Licensing
Similarly, the Foreshore and Dumping at Sea (Amendment) Act 2009 amends the Dumping at Sea Acts 1996 to 2006 so that certain functions relating to dumping at sea are transferred from the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to the Environmental Protection Agency. With effect from 15th February 2010 it is the function of the EPA to issue Dumping at Sea permits under the Dumping at Sea Acts 1996 to 2009.
The Dumping at Sea Acts 1996 to 2009 prohibit the dumping at sea from vessels, aircraft or offshore installation of a substance or material unless permitted by the Environmental Protection Agency.
The Marine Institute provides advice to the EPA in relation to the environmental impacts that may arise from proposals to dispose of material at sea.
The Marine Institute also plays a key role in the regulation and licensing of both marine and freshwater aquaculture by providing advice to the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Dr. Terry McMahon