North East Galway Wetlands Project

Galway County Council celebrates World Wetland Day 2024 by highlighting the North East Galway Wetland Project.

R. Joyce

A dash board has been developed to highlight the different wetlands and their restoration potential for North East Galway
Wetlands of North East Galway
Exploring the wetlands of North East Galway
MKO have been project partners with the North East Galway Wetland Project

The objective of the North East Galway Wetland Project is to undertake strategic restoration of wetlands and watercourses within the area to provide optimal biodiversity, carbon and climate benefits. Galway County Council is currently working with various partners including Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO), Community Wetlands Forum, National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) and other key stakeholders to explore potential opportunities for restoration in this area. It is among the actions that Galway County Council will be taking to fulfil the requirements of Ireland’s 4th National Biodiversity Action Plan (2023 -2030), which was published in January 2024 https://www.gov.ie/pdf/?file=https://assets.gov.ie/281711/d424b166-763b-4916-8eba-8afff955c5e5.pdf#page=null

 

The restoration of wetlands aligns with both local and national environmental policy and legislation and will result in positive impacts on biodiversity, climate, flood relief, water quality and fisheries habitat and public amenity creation. All of the above are primary drivers for this project.  In addition to this, the restoration of wetlands has the potential to provide significant public amenity benefits, and this is another consideration of the project.

 

The project began with an audit of the wetland habitats in North-East Galway that was undertaken in 2021 by Wetland Surveys Ireland, working in conjunction with Galway County Council, LAWPRO, Foss Environmental Consulting and the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage (DHLGH). This audit identified over 400 wetlands, many of which had not previously been identified.  Habitats recorded included peatlands, wet grasslands, wet woodlands, lakes, rivers, turloughs, marshes and swamps. The project covers an area of 174,587ha and the wetland sites identified cover an area of 29,439 ha (17% of the study area).  The link to the audit can be found below. With such a significant amount and variety of wetland habitats identified in the County, Galway County Council sees it as an imperative obligation to protect and where possible restore this natural resource.

 

To build on the work carried out in the 2021 survey Galway County Council commissioned MKO to undertake a restoration feasibility study. This stage of the project utilized Geographic Information System (GIS) mapping to consider the previously identified wetlands in northeast Galway and to determine the feasibility of implementing nature restoration projects on each. The output of this work is an interactive map of all the identified wetlands with factors that influence the feasibility of their restoration considered and shown graphically. This allows Galway County Council and the stakeholder partners to carry out a critical appraisal and strategic assessment of the wetlands to identify the best potential restoration projects that offer the most benefits to biodiversity, climate, the environment and local amenity.

 

Galway County Council and the project partners are actively seeking to undertake strategic restoration projects on wetlands in north east Galway and are currently undertaking a detailed review of all available information to identify feasible projects and are investigating the various funding options that are available for any such projects.

 

Galway County Council sees the importance of community engagement and involvement in the success of any restoration project and if you, or your community group would like to know more about the project or potentially know of wetlands in your area that could be considered for restoration, please contact the Galway County Council Biodiversity Office [email protected]

 

Explore the Wetlands of North East Galway using our GIS StoryMaps developed by Wetlands Survey Ireland and the GIS Section of Galway County Council.

 

Galway Biodiversity StoryMaps (arcgis.com)

 

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This page was added on 01/02/2024.

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