Beach cleaning advice is sought
In response to a story carried in last week's Fingal Independent where Donabate Portrane Clean Coasts called on Fingal County Council to stop using heavy machinery to clean up local beaches, the local authority has said it is seeking advice from An Taisce on 'best practice when it comes to keeping our beaches clean'.
Responding to the call to stop diggers being used to clean litter from beaches, the council issued a statement to the Fingal Independent, this week saying: 'As has been the practise in recent years, all Fingal County Council beaches are cleaned on a weekly basis during the Bathing Season.
'The extent of the cleaning covers the Designated Bathing Zone - 200 meters to the left and right of the Lifeguard Station.'
However, taking into account the concerns raised by the local environmental group, the local authority said: 'As a result of concerns raised, Fingal County Council is currently working closely with An Taisce in relation to best practice when it comes to keeping our beaches clean.
'The Council is committed to maintaining all of our beaches to the highest standards so as they can be enjoyed by everyone.'
Donabate and Portrane Clean Coasts say the practice of using heavy machinery fort he work is potentially 'hazardous to public health and damaging to the important and sensitive coastal ecosystem'.
The organisation said: 'We are calling for Fingal County Council to stop using JCBs to 'clean' our beaches now.'
The group said: 'Beaches do require cleaning. Dog and plastic waste are among some of the items that Clean Coasts groups regularly clean up. This waste needs to be removed from the beaches in an environmentally safe manner-not by piling it and burying it as Fingal County Council do, leaving the unsanitary waste on the beaches and damaging the ecosystem by removing seaweed and shells anddisrupting the roots of the fragile dune systems.'
The group added: 'These coastal ecosystems are fragile and susceptible to erosion...'