StreamScapes is a dynamic new educational initiative that focuses on catchment management and aims to increase environmental awareness of rivers, lakes and streams. Key elements of the programme include distinctive course books, a dedicated website and a StreamScapes Centre to host training and educational activities. The Centre is based in the heart of the Coomhola Catchment, Bantry.
"The StreamScapes Programme complements my Departments catchment based national strategy to combat over enrichment of rivers and lakes and to manage, protect, and where necessary, restore water quality", said Minister of State for the Environment and Local Government, Dan Wallace TD, at the launch. "StreamScapes is an innovative way of raising awareness and enabling people of all ages to be effective participants in the catchment management process", he said.
Funding from the Marine Institute has initiated a dedicated website for the StreamScapes programme. "Our collaboration has been a great success and we now have an interactive resource that our staff can use in dealings with landowners, foresters and local authority personnel. Their daily work can have a devastating effect on freshwater life if they are not properly educated," said Ken Whelan, Director of Salmon Management Services at the Institute.
The website (www.streamscapes.org) contains a broad range of information displayed in a user friendly way. It includes profiles of the salmon life cycle, habitat requirements, impacts of pollution and how it affects salmonids as well as worksheets in support of field studies. A key feature is an interactive database of StreamScapes projects, where participating groups tell the world about the state of their own local streams and rivers.
"At a time of increasing concern about fisheries and freshwater quality, StreamScapes offers a simple, practical activities which communities can use to help improve the quality of their local environment," said Mark Boyden, Director of Coomhola Salmon Trust and creator of the StreamScapes Programme.
The Streamscapes programme was developed with the support of The Marine Institute, the Central Fisheries Board, The Heritage Council, Cork County Council and the European Union.