Minister Josepha Madigan promotes ‘Check Clean Dry’ initiative as part of Invasive Species Week
Ahead of the Easter holiday period, and as part of Invasive Species Week, Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaelacht Josepha Madigan TD today (Tuesday 27 March) highlighted the importance of water amenity users (such as anglers, canoeists, and walkers) following the ‘Check Clean Dry’ protocol.
The Minister was speaking in advance of a National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), Canoeing Ireland and Wild Water Kayak Club hosted, and Waterways Ireland supported, canoe-wash at Islandbridge, Dublin to illustrate the practical application of the measures.
‘Check Clean Dry’ is a vital biosecurity initiative that is aimed at helping stop the spread of non-native invasive freshwater plants and animals, as water users may unknowingly be helping to spread invasive species from one water body to another in equipment, shoes and clothing.
The campaign urges stakeholders to:
· Check equipment and clothing for living organisms;
· Clean and wash all equipment, footwear and clothes thoroughly;
· Dry all equipment and clothing.
Speaking ahead of the event at Islandbridge, Minister Madigan said:
“I am delighted that today’s event highlights the co-ordination and co-operation between water sports enthusiasts and Government Departments and agencies that is the cornerstone of effective biosecurity measures. It is essential that initiatives such as ‘Check Clean Dry’ are followed so as to ensure that our wonderful natural amenities available nationwide remain accessible and useable to those who wish to use them – not just during the forthcoming Easter holidays, but for future generations also.
Recreational facilities can suffer as a result of invasive species. Fish populations may reduce or change, while invasive plants may restrict navigation through waterways, clog up propellers and add significantly to the management costs of our waterways.
This highlights the fact that as well as the irreplaceable cost to wildlife, the financial costs of invasive species can run into millions of Euro.”
At the event, Canoeing Ireland highlighted the awareness work carried out by their organisation:
“Canoeing Ireland takes its responsibility towards bio security awareness very seriously. For Invasive Species week we have been proactively engaged with our membership encouraging continued vigilance and use of our Check Clean Dry protocols. Canoeing Ireland would like to take this opportunity to thank its membership and the wider paddlesports community for setting a fine example of responsible use of Ireland’s waterways.”
Waterways Ireland urged those using blue ways and engaging in water-based recreational activity throughout the country to ensure they use the ‘Check, Clean, Dry’ protocol:
“Invasive species pose a significant threat to water-based tourism and recreation on the inland waterways. These waterways are crucially important environmental and recreational assets with significant biodiversity value. Invasive alien species seriously threaten these crucially important environments & recreational spaces and impact the socio-economic development of waterfront communities. To help in the fight against invasive species, Waterways Ireland will continue to work closely with interagency groups, recreational bodies and local communities to tackle their spread and to implement biosecurity protocols.”