ON a stunning Sunday morning over 100 volunteers, from across the community, came out to take part in Dungarvan Tidy Towns’ first ever Big Bay Clean Up. Dungarvan Harbour is a Special Protected Area with over 20km of coastline and three river estuaries – so our work was cut out for us. The community response was overwhelming; families, local business people and visitors too gathered outside the Sailing Club to gear up with hi viz jackets, gloves, bags and litter pickers.
Showing great enthusiasm most groups were ready to go before 12 and they took off on bikes, scooters and foot to cover every corner of Abbeyside beach, the Pond, the Quay and Colligan Estuary banks.
Some intrepid Tidy Towns Committee members even took to the water with fishing nets – scooping over 130 glasses out of the quay between the Bridge and Eurospar!
Thanks to the Sailing Club for providing the two boats, but most importantly the life jackets and two drivers for the boats. West Waterford Eco Group were out in force to support the Big Bay Clean up; thanks to John Power and Siobhan Hubbard for organising carpooling and the clean-up of Middle Strand, Clonea.
After two hours, many rolls of bags and numerous shopping trolleys, prams and bicycles fished out of the quay, volunteers regrouped back outside the Sailing Club for a bite to eat.
Thanks to Eugene Tobin in SGC Dungarvan, Cllr. Thomas Phelan, the staff at Kimmy’s Kitchen, the Anchor and Jitterbeans for providing equipment, water and refreshments for everyone who took part.
But the Big Bay Clean-Up didn’t start or end there, Harty’s Oysters kicked it all off on Friday, when local oyster growers cleared household waste and plastic pollution from Ballinclamper to Barnawee, Abbeyside, the Cunnigar and all the way to Ballinagoul! This is a bimonthly activity for Harty’s and all the oyster growers in Dungarvan Bay and an impressive effort to protect water quality and biodiversity in our harbour. Following up on Sunday’s community clean-up, on Monday morning 14 volunteers from GlaxoSmithKline tackled difficult areas of Dungarvan’s harbour such as Quann’s and the coastline behind the Pitch and Putt. They then moved inland and up river to clear debris from the banks of the Colligan river at Shandon. It was great to see to Cllr. Thomas Phelan and Alan Walsh from the Local Water Authority taking part in the Clean Up, as well as members from the Dungarvan Men’s Shed. The Dungarvan & West Waterford Chamber was delighted to support this and wishes the Dungarvan Tidy Towns continued success with community initiatives. Dungarvan’s first Big Bay Clean Up was a phenomenal effort from the entire community.