Members of the public were today encouraged to play their part in the protection and improvement of Northern Ireland waterways.
The Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) will be holding a series of Water Information Days which will provide the public with an opportunity to speak to NIEA staff about draft River Basin Plans to improve the water environment.
Environment Minister Sammy Wilson said: “I would urge members of the public to attend the Information Days and have their say on the future plans for Northern Ireland waters. It is in all our interests that we collectively take on the responsibility for the care of our water to ensure we get the water environment we deserve.
“River Basin Planning is about taking an integrated approach to the protection, improvement and sustainable use of the water environment, from source to sea. The plans aim to provide a clean and healthy water environment and to deliver considerable benefits for all the people of Northern Ireland.
“We all depend on our water environment, whether as the source of our drinking water, for recreational use, for agricultural or business purposes and to attract tourists.”
The information days are scheduled to take place in:
March 25 – Helen’s Bay: Crawfordsburn Country Park, Bridge Road South, 2-8pm
April 1 – Ballymena: Ecos Centre, Broughshane Road, 2-8pm
April 8 – Londonderry: Loughs Agency, Victoria Road, 2-8pm
April 22 – Portrush: The Coastal Zone, Bath Road, 2-8pm
April 29 – Irvinestown: Castle Archdale Country Park, 2-8pm
May 6 – Dungannon: Peatlands Park, Derryhubbert Road, 2-8pm
Members of the public attending the information days should also alert the Agency to any community-run initiatives they are involved in that may help protect and improve waterways.
They will be encouraged to search a new interactive web map to find out more about local rivers, lakes, coastal waters and ground-water. This exciting resource will provide teachers and students with new methods of data collection.
Discussions will also centre on how insects can be used as indicators of water pollution.
Factsheets on local water management will also be made available which can be used in classrooms by teachers delivering ‘Physical Process’ at GCSE or ‘Environment and Society’ at Key Stage 3.