Coomhola was the subject of, and setting for, the launch of a ‘Blue Dot Catchments’ booklet by Streamscapes on 17th August 2022. Christopher O’Sullivan TD, supported by Michael Collins TD and Lord Mayor of County Cork, Danny Collins officially launched the publication.
The ‘Blue Dot Catchments Programme’ is an initiative of the Department of Housing, Local Government, and Heritage and is managed by the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO). Its aim is to protect and restore high-status, or pristine, water bodies throughout the State. The Coomhola River, as a prime example of a pristine water body, was selected to be the subject of the first dedicated ‘Blue Dot’ booklet, which was produced by Coomhola Salmon Trust’s StreamScapes programme working with EPA Catchments, Cork County Council, and LAWPRO (which is freely available for download at: https://bit.ly/3A77hFb).
Christopher O’Sullivan TD, in launching the colourful publication, stressed “the importance of water quality and how it underpins biodiversity and human well-being; the importance of farmers as chief landscape stewards who have a major role to play, as well as all citizens with their discharges and water treatment systems… and Coillte Forestry Estate management must also reflect the new science as I note that Forestry is one of the chief causes of water quality deterioration in Blue Dot Catchments nationally.”
LAWPRO was delighted to support this publication through the Community Water Development Fund, and as an acknowledgment of the efforts by the Coomhola River Catchment residents to conserve high-status water quality.
The launch occurred during National Heritage Week and field trips were organised to Coomhola Salmon Trust’s ‘StreamSchool’ and down along the Cooleenlemane Stream to formally open an Outdoor Classroom shelter. Among the wide attendance of local farming families and invited guests were Michelle Green, Cork County Council Environmental Officer; Catherine Seale-Duggan, Community Water Officer for Cork; Anne Goggin Waters of LIFE integrated project; Paddy Morris from the EPA Catchments Unit; Neillie O’Leary representing the Coomhola & Borlin Community Development Association; and Teddy O’Brien, President of the Coomhola River Salmon & Trout Anglers’ Association.