Joe McHugh and Leo Varadkar
A raft of new funding for Donegal environmental projects has been announced.
The Local Agenda 21 Environmental Partnership Fund supports local environmental initiatives by communities, individuals and not-for-profit groups.
Welcoming the allocation, Minister Joe McHugh said: “This year over €460,000 of funding is available nationally, representing an increase of 15 per cent from 2016.
“Local Authorities have now drawn down this allocation which they will match, bringing the total LA21 project funding this year to €908,000.
“Here in Donegal funding of €36,110 is being announced for 38 projects across the county.
“The main goal of these local projects is to improve the environment and make our communities more sustainable for the future.
“It recognises the astonishing work being done by so many local groups and this funding will help the visionary approach they have.”
The Minister said that projects include:
· A native species fishing project run by anglers in Loughanure
· Community vegetable gardens in Killygordon, Moville, Glencolmcille, Termon Fintown and biodiversity areas in Milford
· River species surveys and regeneration in Inishowen
· Bee promotion initiatives by Raphoe Tidy Towns
· A family garden polytunnel in Dunfanaghy
Letterkenny Municipal District Mayor Cllr Jimmy Kavanagh said: “The fund shows how local initiatives can make a real difference in our communities, and showcases how small changes can make lasting improvements to our environment.
“Among those receiving funding are groups like the Letterkenny Community Gardens to support a rainwater harvesting and compositing initiative.
“The Fund supports small scale non-profit environmental projects such as allotments, community gardens, compost schemes, rainwater harvesting schemes, educational initiatives and environmental exhibitions.”
Minister McHugh added: “Eligible projects are those that will support and complement, at a local level, national environmental policies such as those on Waste, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Air, Water and Sustainable Development.
“Nationally, 834 projects are being funded under the 2017 scheme which is an increase of over 100 projects on 2016.
“Ireland faces a once in a generation opportunity to shape the long-term direction of Irish environmental policy that will chart the course towards our low carbon future.”
Cllr Terence Slowey said: “We in Fine Gael want Ireland’s image as the green island to inform all areas of policy so that the global image of our country is transformed and we are recognised as one of the cleanest and safest environments in the world.
“The enhancement of our own beautiful county in Donegal is not just about tourists; it is also about the environment of the people who live and work here, who raise families here."
Fellow Fine Gael Cllr Bernard McGuinness added: “To achieve these ambitious goals all Government agencies will need to engage positively with local communities, both early and often, to manage the transition to a low carbon future.
“The broad range of groups being helped through this funding recognises the incredible work already being done in this county for a safer, greener environment for all.
"Inch Wildlife Reserve, for example, will be taking their message into schools in Inishowen, raising awareness of this incredible habitat for the next generation and the Culdaff Community Angling Club are looking at a study to regenerate the local river. These are all superb projects which are now being helped through funding from Government and Donegal County Council."