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The Brandon Bay Project

NUI Galway and the Marine Institute has announced details of the Brandon Bay project to study climate projections for rising sea levels and storminess.

It involves the deployment of a combination of smart buoys and time-lapse imaging to measure storm impacts and support the development of coastal flood and erosion defences. A new ‘waverider’ buoy has been provided by Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland to measure wave height, wave direction, wave period, surface currents, and water temperature as well as storm impact. A shoreline monitoring system along Brandon Bay at three sites will capture images of the beach every ten minutes during daylight hours over the next 12 months, to identify time periods when wave run-up is high enough to reach the dunes and potentially cause coastal erosion. This research is funded by Geological Survey Ireland.

Dr Eugene Farrell, of the Ryan Institute's Centre for Ocean Research and Exploration at NUI Galway, said: "We want to improve existing coastal change models by developing better insights into why does change occur and how much change will occur if we dial up climate projections for rising sea levels and storminess. To answer these questions we require process-response coastal models and these are only possible if nearshore observations from wave buoys such as the one in Brandon Bay are deployed over long time periods to capture all the seasons.

"We already know that changes along the coast from elevated storm surge and wave run-up result in changes in seabed and beach elevations. The data captured by the waverider will play an integral part in dismantling the important connections between different storm types such as size, direction, duration, clustering and coastal response that allows us to share real time ocean observations that can be used to address coastal erosion and coastal flood protection.”

Restoring the Ulster Canal

The Ulster Canal is a significant link in Ireland’s waterway network and will be complemented by the Ulster Canal Greenway when it is completed," according to the Acting Chief Executive of Waterways Ireland, John Mc Donagh. " Waterways Ireland is well advanced in preparations to mobilise this project.

The Irish government has provided funded from the #Shared Island Fund to support the implementation of Phase 2 of the work on the canal, to progress the restoration of an 800 metres stretch canal between Clones and Clonfad in County Monaghan, including a canal basin and amenity area in Clones.

The total cost of the restoration project will be in the region of €6m.

Death of Tim Severin

Legendary maritime adventurer Tim Severin whose greatest project was probably crossing the Atlantic in a leather boat to follow the story of Brendan the Navigator died this week at the age of 80.

With a dedicated crew he sailed from Kerry in 1976 to cross the Atlantic via the Hebrides in Scotland, the Faroe Islands, Iceland and Greenland to Newfoundland in Canada. It was the first in a series of voyages he later undertook and wrote books about. These included tracking the ‘voyage of Sinbad’; the ‘Ulysses and Jason and the Argonauts. He lived near Timoleague in West Cork.