SeaFest 2019: Ireland's largest Maritime festival will promote awareness of plastic pollution
The festival returns to the rebel county after a three year break
Ireland's largest maritime festival, SeaFest, returns to Cork City this weekend for the first time in three years.
The festival, organised by Cork City Council and the Inter-Departmental Marine Coordination Group (MCG) runs across the weekend, June 7-9 and includes over 100 free events.
Over 100,000 visitors are expected to attend the 2019 festival, this year however, organisers want to use the event as a platform to highlight plastic pollution within our oceans.
Cllr Mick Finn, whose stint as Lord Mayor of Cork ended this week, said that the weekend will play an important role in teaching schoolchildren of the affects of plastic on sea life.
"Environmental stewardship of our oceans is something we need to instil in our children. This will ensure the problems facing our oceans are addressed, and hopefully, reversed.
"I’m delighted to welcome SeaFest to Cork for the next three years, as it serves an important role in this education. SeaFest is a brilliant illustration of our unique and unrivalled maritime history.
"In a fun and interactive way, this national annual festival is helping those of all ages to think about their connection with the water and how the actions they make today can make a difference tomorrow."
Special events to promote plastic pollution awareness include the unveiling of an interactive hut made up of 60kg of household plastics, the average amount used by an adult in Ireland each year.
Exhibitions and workshops on to how to turn plastic into art also be held across the weekend including 'A Flock of Sea Gulls' an event that will see 1000 young visitors transform 1000 plastic cartons into an installation of sea gulls.
Meanwhile the Port of Cork the Marine and Renewable Energy Ireland (MaREI) Centre willl be holding a 3D exhibition 'Maintaining a Healthy Harbour' with marine litter artworks from local school children.
Keeping on the trend of no plastic, Cork City Council Environmental Awareness Officer, Mary Walsh noted that market traders will be using compostable packaging across the weekend.
"There will also be pirates on-site, keeping SeaFest free from single use plastics. If someone has brought a plastic bottle with them, the pirate will show them how, and where, to dispose of it," she said.
Speaking ahead of SeaFest 2019, Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed said:
"SeaFest is part of Harnessing Our Ocean Wealth, the Government’s integrated plan for the marine sector.
"A key aspect of this plan is to significantly increase our level of engagement with the sea.
"As we welcome the festival back to Cork from Galway where it has been thriving over the past three years, once again, SeaFest has delivered a fantastic line-up of free, educational and fun events to engage both the public and policy makers alike and emphasise the importance of Ireland’s marine economy."