On Wed 10th January researchers from iCRAG were joined by members of the local community in Dundalk library at the conclusion of the Taking Stock project.
Throughout 2023, the Taking Stock research team of Dr Tomas Buitendijk, Dr Mark Coughlan, Britta Thiemt, Assoc. Prof. Geertje Schuitema and Prof. Tasman Crowe carried out the study to understand what Dundalk Bay means to residents, and how this informs their understanding of marine sediments and the future management of the area.
In Spring 2023, iCRAG researchers interviewed people who live near Dundalk Bay, individually and in a focus group. Findings included:
- Dundalk Bay is an important cultural, economic, environmental, historical, and social space.
- Local knowledge can make a contribution to the understanding of the bay and its sediments, and people feel that their voices should be heard as part of future management plans for the area.
- However, people generally remain unaware that marine sediments store carbon, and are concerned about the lack of scientific knowledge about where sediments are located and how much carbon they contain.
At the Dundalk library event, discussions were held on how to best include local perspectives and knowledge in decisions about the future of Dundalk Bay and the possible role of its marine sediments in addressing climate change.
Speaking at the closing event, lead researcher Dr Tomas Buitendijk commented: “We are pleased to see such a big turnout of local community members at the Taking Stock event. As Dundalk Bay is thought to be an area where large amounts of carbon are stored in marine sediments, this may be a factor in deciding how Dundalk Bay is managed in the future.”
The research teamhave produced a policy brief on the Taking Stock project which you can read here: Taking Stock Policy Brief.