Plans for one of the most ambitious marine environment projects in the State have been unveiled for Donegal.
The project seeks to investigate the development of three integrated marine initiatives of international excellence centred at Malin head.
The plans include the development of an Ocean Interpretation Centre, Ireland’s First National Marine Park and a Biosphere Fishing Reserve on the North coast of Inishowen.
The concept document focuses on the common marketing of environmentally themed tourism, locally caught sea food produce and sustainable community practices through the three initiatives.
Speaking about the launch of the concept document the project coordinator Emmett Johnston said “This concept is about putting new ideas and solutions out into the community and seeing what the reaction is. It’s a different way of approaching things, most people are used to being told from the top down what is going to happen and they may have difficulty understanding that this is just a concept, potential ideas for the future. It’s like planting a seed, then it’s up to local people to shape the idea and make it their own.”
According to the group there will be a series of three public meetings covering the communities of Inishowen North, West and East.
Each meeting will involve a presentation of the concepts and a feedback session where ideas will be taken and developed. Everyone is invited to read the concept document and give feedback before and after the meetings which will be held on the 18th, 19th and 20th of March at a variety of venues throughout the peninsula.
All ideas are welcome according to the project coordinator Emmett Johnston who added “Without community engagement this concept is just a piece of paper, it up to local people to decide if this is something they want and how they can benefit from it. We need everyone to come on board with the process, attend the public meetings and give their feedback.