Deputy Steven Matthews and local Councillor Pat Kennedy have welcomed the decision to include the Avonmore River, in the Waters of LIFE Project. This is a nationwide scheme that aims to enhance water bodies in Ireland that have been designated under the European Commission’s Water Framework Directive as “high-status” and to reverse the decline in water quality that has occurred in these river catchments over the last three decades.
Speaking following the launch of the project, Deputy Matthews said:
“I am particularly happy that the Avonmore River, has been selected as one of six river catchments for the Waters of LIFE Project. The Avonmore includes an area of 141km² with streams, rivers and lakes that flow through the Wicklow Mountains and the villages of Annamoe and Laragh. Historically, these rivers have achieved high ecological status but are now under stress and need restorative action.
“I look forward to engaging with Wicklow County Council, local community groups and others on how we can increase public awareness of the ecological, social and economic importance of the Avonmore and develop solutions to maximise water quality and maintain the high-status designation of the river catchment.
“The Waters of LIFE Project will help the Avonmore to reach its potential as an area of rich biological diversity with pristine water conditions. I would like to thank my Green Party Colleague and the Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform, Malcolm Noonan TD, for championing this initiative which will lead to improvements in our high-status water bodies in Wicklow and across the country”, Deputy Matthews concluded.
Minister Noonan launched the Waters of LIFE Project on Sunday, stating that “The ongoing loss of high-status waters is among the most concerning, protracted and persistent water quality trends in Ireland. The six high-status rivers selected for this scheme — and the communities, industries, and local economy surrounding them — will benefit greatly from the implementation of locally tailored solutions to be delivered through this scheme.”