Ireland Internship 2015

Hello! For my Internship with the Patel College of Global Sustainability, I interned with Coastwatch Europe. Coastwatch Europe is an Environmental NGO headed by Karin Dubsky. Coastwatch Europe survay’s Ireland’s coastline and checks for any environmental damages caused by man. Coastwatch Europe has been in existence since the mid-1980’s with Karin at the helm. Coastwatch Europe includes hundreds of volunteer “citizen scientists” located throughout Ireland. Coastwatch is located in the Civil and Environmental Department of Trinity College Dublin, where Karin is on staff.

Photo of the Ciliv and Environmental Department at Trinity College Dublin.

Photo of the Civil and Environmental Department at Trinity College Dublin.

Trinity College Dublin
Trinity College Dublin

Trinity College Dublin

While at Coastwatch Europe I participated in many field trips. We travel all along the the southwestern shoreline of Ireland. The Irish Coast is absolutely beautiful!! I will admit that the temperature was a bit colder than Florida. The purpose of these field trips was to check on prior Coastwatch Europe projects and survey the shore to see if there was any attention needed in other areas.

The coastline of of Crosshaven, Ireland.

The coastline of of Crosshaven, Ireland.

When I was with Coastwatch Europe, we were conducting a nation-wide environmental survey of the Irish people. This survey was sanctioned by the EU and the EC. The survey is called Citclops. The survey’s purpose was to get a baseline of basic environmental knowledge of the Irish people. This is important because Coastwatch Europe presents the information to the EC/EU, as well as the Irish Parliament, which could add to the Irish National Curriculum. They survey include people from all ages and economic backgrounds. There was also a water quality section of the survey.

 

Photo of Karin and Owen doing a water quality survey in Crosshaven, Ireland.

Photo of Karin and Owen doing a water quality survey in Crosshaven, Ireland.

While we were surveying the shore, I was able to study the erosion of the shoreline. There was a presentation of Coastwatch Europe’s finding at the Parliament Building in Dublin. At the presentation topics of Climate Change and Erosion was addressed.

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Photo of the Old Bray Dump, Bray, Ireland.

Photo of the Old Bray Dump, Bray, Ireland.

After my first week in Ireland, I was tasked to investigate the Old Bray Dump. The Old Bray Dump was operation from the early 1900’s to 1985. The dump is on the town lines of Dun Laogharie and Bray. This cause difficulty to find the people that were responsible for the dump. The dump is eroding into to sea. There is debris all along the shore. After much work, I was able to track down the person in charge of the dump. This person was not very receptive of my inquires. He, although, did attend the Coastwatch Europe Presentation. He instructed Karin to “back off”. That was not a smart idea. Before I left Ireland, there were Television and Radio spots doing exposes on the Old Bray Dump. Action is happening.

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On March 20, 2015, there was the Coastwatch Europe presentation at the European Parliament. Along with climate change issues, there was a workshop on the Old Bray Dump, which I was named as a co-Author.

My experiences with Coastwatch Europe has showed my the real power of a grass roots organization. Karin Dubsky is such an inspiration for me. Her love and dedication to the environment is so powerful. The amount of positive change that was enacted by Karin and Coastwatch Europe is absolutely incredible. I was able to experience a “boots on the ground” approach to environmentalism and that is so valuable to me.

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My experience in Ireland was incredible! The people of Ireland is as friendly as advertised. Yes, it was very cold when I was in Ireland, but the warmth of the Irish shined through!

 

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My last day with Karin and Coastwatch Europe!