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Ocean Summit – Dublin 2019

Georgina Black   Tue 29 Oct 2019

In October Northern Irish Young Reporters for the Environment students spent two days learning about our seas and oceans at two Green-Schools events in Meath and Dublin. Ireland’s first Ocean Assembly for secondary students was held in Ashbourne Community College on Tuesday 15th October, and on Wednesday, students from St. Colm’s High School, Belfast Royal Academy, Wallace High School and St. Dominic’s High School joined Green-Schools at Portmarnock for the launch of the Green-Schools ‘newest campaign ‘Sea Starts Here’ to combat litter pollution. With the permission of Fingal County Council, students and Green-Schools staff used stencils to spray paint the ‘sea starts here’ message at road drains, drawing attention to the link between land-based activities and marine pollution.

The YRE students met Google Science Fair winner Fionn Ferreira who had his presentation on micro-plastic at the event. During the 2-day event, the ambassador school advised participating schools on the seven steps of the Green-Schools programme, along with a tour of their school and a talk on social media and environmental campaigns.

Cathy Baxter, Green-Schools Manager said: “We have enjoyed two exceptional days of learning about our seas and oceans and what we can do to prevent further pollution. The enthusiasm of our secondary school students cannot be underestimated; they are so keen to learn more and more about their environment and climate change and what they can do to help”.

There are currently 16 secondary schools working on the Marine Environment theme in Ireland. Eco-Schools Northern Ireland has launched the Marine Topic this year wishing to reach the same encouraging number in the next couple of years!

This event and many others can be the opportunity for our schools to discover how their work on the Eco-Schools and YRE programmes has positively, influenced people and their local environment and how our young people can be game changers.