Port of Cork Encourages School Children to Tackle Marine Litter with Art

By Seamus Whelehan

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East Cork Fifth Class Primary School students are being encouraged to take part in a Countywide colouring competition entitled Maintaining a Healthy Harbour.  The educational initiative, run by the Port of Cork in association with the MaRIE, the UCC Research Centre for marine and renewable energy, focuses on the impact of marine litter on our harbours.

It is estimated that 26 million tonnes of waste plastic is produced in Europe annually with experts claiming that, by 2050, we could have more plastics in our oceans than fish.  Ireland is the worst offender when it comes to plastic waste, with over 60kg being generated per person, per year.   Plastic in our ocean is a huge threat to marine life and even more difficult to tackle once it breaks down into micro plastics.

Port of Cork Chief Executive, Mr Brendan Keating, said we are sitting on a ticking time bomb.“Marine litter is apparent in all Harbours and it is so important that school children recognise the impacts which marine litter can have on a Harbour both in and out of the water.”

For the past 13 years, more than 30 schools from both Cork City and County have participated in the Schools Initiative. All 5th classes who take part in the Port of Cork Schools Initiative will be treated to a boat trip around Cork Harbour, and a Certificate of Participation.  The overall winner will receive a tour on board one of the many luxurious cruise liners visiting Cork during the summer of 2019.   All submitted projects will go on public display in the Cobh Maritime Development Building, before the winner is announced in May 2019.   Closing date for entries is Friday 12th April 2019.

If you would like more information on the Port of Cork Schools Initiative or would like to register your school, please contact Sara Mackeown, Port of Cork, email smackeown@portofcork.ie or call 021 4625375. Information is also available at www.portofcork.ie

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