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Salthill sand dune project could help protect against climate change


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

Salthill sand dune project could help protect against climate change Salthill sand dune project could help protect against climate change

From this week’s Galway City Tribune – A sand dune fencing project currently underway on Grattan Beach could lead the way in using nature to protect infrastructure from climate change.

The pilot scheme, for which fences were installed at the beach in June, seeks to enable the build-up of natural sand dunes which, in turn, could provide protection from coastal flooding and winds during storms.

Speaking to the Galway City Tribune, Biodiversity Officer at Galway City Council, Paula Kearney, said the dunes came about was an extension of the community-led ‘I Like Beaches’ campaign, and was a collaboration between the local authority, University of Galway and the Atlantic Seaboard North Climate Action Regional Office (CARO).

And this ‘living lab’, she said, was under constant supervision by students from the university who were collecting data that would steer the direction of the project in the years to come.

“It’s about trying to focus on nature-based solutions – we are working with nature to find how we can become more resilient to climate change,” said Ms Kearney.

In addition to that, the project was about community, she said, and making the most of Grattan Beach.

The purpose of the fencing was to allow the establishment of ‘embryonic dunes’ – meaning dunes at the early stage of formation – which are, by their nature, changeable based on factors such as wind and climate.

While dunes could not protect against all coastal flooding, it was possible that a barrier could be formed in specific areas and this pilot project was the best way to figure out how that might work.
This is a shortened preview version of this story. To read the rest of the article, see the July 28 edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism and buy a digital edition HERE.

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