The marine and environmental outreach teams from the Explorers Education Programme and Leave No Trace Ireland recently (19th – 21st September) attended the National Ploughing Championships held in Tullamore, Co Offaly where they met with thousands of people, highlighting the importance of our ocean and environmental care.
With record breaking numbers of over 290,000 people attending what is considered Europe’s largest outdoor event, the Explorers and Leave No Trace team took a sample of the ocean to the midlands where “streams of people got an opportunity to discover a selection of live native marine species that are typically found in rock pools around the Irish coast including dog fish, plaice and starfish in the Explorers display boat,” explained Maura Lyons, CEO Leave No Trace Ireland.
The National Ploughing Championships provided the team with an opportunity to reach a wide range of people of all ages, as well as official visitors such as Minister Ring and Minister Humphreys who visited the Explorers and Leave No Trace stand.
“Visitors to the stand were introduced to a number of meaningful facts about the marine highlighting the importance of understanding the ocean and its influence on our daily lives, such as the food we eat, climate and environmental changes and how the ocean affects our general well-being. Many were keen to learn in particular that our marine resource is ten times the size of the island of Ireland and that 1.9 million people live within 5km of the seashore in Ireland,” said Ms Lyons.
The Explorers Education Programme, funded and supported by the Marine Institute, is available for schools to take part in throughout a number of coastal counties in Ireland. The unique programme involves the use of salt water aquariums in the classroom; seashore safaris on local beaches; marine based projects about species, habitats and environmental care; as well as a range of workshops. For more information, please visit www.explorers.ie or www.leavenotraceireland.org