Kerry students release trout into water

Released: 22 May 2008

As part of the StreamScapes Kerry Festival, which celebrates the rivers, lakes, streams and biodiversity of Kerry, students from schools around the county and the Mayor of Kerry released trout into the Deenach river on Wednesday, May 21.

 

The Festival marks the culmination of a Kerry County Council project running in the Flesk/Leane/Laune catchment in which schools and community groups assessed local rivers, learned of the rich biodiversity which healthy freshwater resource supports, and how "environmental best-practice" in the home can reduce impacts upon water quality.

 

Colourful exhibits on Freshwater Ecology and Biodiversity have been prepared by all participants and will be on display at the Knockreer House facility today, Thursday May 22, in the Killarney National Park Education Centre at Knockreer House, Killarney from 11am to 2pm.

 

 Micheál O Coileán, Environmental Awareness Officer with Kerry County Council, pointed out how hundreds of students and their families, along with the wider community, have learned how cleaner Kerry freshwater resource supports a rich biodiversity, from mayflies to trout and salmon through to birds and otters.

“Farms, forestry, and industry are cleaning up their act, but our own households have an enormous capacity to discharge nutrients and toxins which not only overwhelm sewage treatment but cause harm to the natural environment."

 

Kerry County Council drafted in the StreamScapes Aquatic Education Programme to engage 14 schools and several community organisations in aquatic studies. The Festival at Knockreer House, to which the wider public is invited, features an exhibition of participants' projects. "Household Best Practice" leaflets will be distributed on the day.

 

According to StreamScapes Director Mark Boyden, "the students find the lessons, and particularly the field trips, immensely stimulating and educational.

“We work on the basis that awareness of this rich biodiversity leads to pride in that resource and wanting to learn how to protect it. We have to seriously address habitat restoration, and a huge start can be made in people's own homes. The signs are that this next generation will get the balance right between prosperity and ecology. The public are invited to this impressive exhibition to see what the participants have learned."

 

In a further development, and parallel to the national roll-out of a Carbon Footprint Calculator to enable citizens to reduce their contribution to Global warming, Kerry County Council are developing a "Phosphate Footprint Profile" to make people aware of how we contribute huge amounts of phosphates to the natural environment.

Kerry County Council, Co. Buildings, Rathass, Tralee

Phone: (066) 718 3500     Email: info@kerrycoco.ie

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