A report 'Options for Marine Leisure Development in Waterford Estuary', launched today by the Marine Institute, will help to develop essential spatial planning guidelines for marinas in Waterford. Dunmore East, Waterford City and New Ross have been identified as key locations with potential for marina development. Improved facilities at a number of other sites in estuary have also been recommended. The report is the result of the European project - MAYA*, designed to encourage marina networking throughout Europe.
"Waterford Estuary has the potential to become a popular 'mini-cruising ground' for leisure boating, if appropriate infrastructure facilities are provided in the Estuary," said Hugh Byrne, T.D., Minister of State, for the Department of Marine and Natural Resources, speaking at the launch in the new Millennium Plaza in Waterford. "This will stimulate marine leisure activity which is an essential contributor to the local economy," he said.
According to Anne Wilkinson, Marine Tourism and Leisure Manager at the Marine Institute, a lack of facilities currently inhibits the development of a growing interest in marine tourism and leisure in Waterford. "This report provides essential guidelines that could help make Waterford a very competitive location for marine tourism at a European level in the future", she explained.
The South-East region has benefited from the partnerships established and studies undertaken by the MAYA* project. This report provides a spatial plan for marine tourism development that can be incorporated easily into the regional tourism and local development plans as well as plans for the rejuvenation of Waterford Harbour.
Mr Joe Palmer, Regional Tourism Manager at South East Tourism said that the sheltered waters of the estuary, along with access to the City of Waterford, make it an ideal location for visiting leisure boats and cruise liners. He emphasised the importance of the report to revitalise growth of water-based tourism and leisure in the Wexford/Waterford area.
The MAYA project has been supported and co-funded by The Marine Institute, in collaboration with Waterford Corporation, Waterford and Wexford County Councils, The Port of Waterford Co., South East Tourism, and Waterford Tourism. *MAYA (MArine and YAchting facilities in the Lower North Sea)