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New protected marine area good news for Wicklow's birds says Matthews

A new designation of 305,000 hectares of marine waters off the coast of Wexford as a ‘Special Protection Area’ is good news for birds says Wicklow Green TD Steven Matthews. It joins several other east coast Special Protected areas in Wicklow including The Murrough and Wicklow Head.

Deputy Matthews commented, “This will bring the total percentage of marine protected areas up to 10%, moving towards the target of 30% designated Marine Protected Areas by 2030. This protection is vital in order to have a clean and healthy marine environment. A programme of measures accompanies the designation, including nature based solutions to address biodiversity loss and climate change, and crucially for the Wicklow/Wexford coastline, environmental guidance for offshore renewable energy.

“The designation of the Special Protection Area by Minister Malcolm Noonan, Irelands ‘Minister for Nature’, is the largest designation of this nature in the history of the State. They are designated under the EU Birds Directive and cover a vast area of over 305,000 hectares of water important to a range of over 20 bird species, among them the Little Tern, well known for nesting on Kilcoole beach. This new SPA joins eight others along the coast. Other bird types that the area has a special conservation link to are the Common Scoter, Red throated Diver, Fulmar, Manx Shearwater, gannet, Shag, Cormorant, Kittiwake, Black headed Gull, Herring Gull, Roseate Tern, Common Tern, Arctic Tern, Sandwich Tern, Mediterranean Gull, Puffin, Razorbill and Guillemot.”




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