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Freshwater & the Marine

Too many of our freshwater and marine ecosystems are degraded, polluted and over-exploited. Here, I set out some of my national priorities for our rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries, coasts and the marine under the Programme for Government, along with additional initiatives I'm progressing under this portfolio. Recent news updates are listed below.

Introduce legislation for Marine Protected Areas

Work towards 30% protection in the marine environment, in line with the EU Biodiversity Strategy

Explore options to create a Marine National Park

Publish a new River Basin Management Plan

Increase water quality advisory and enforcement services at local level

Establish a programme to remove river barriers and create free-flowing rivers

Support a pilot nature based catchment flood management scheme on a selected river catchment

Support ‘Citizen Science’ programmes to monitor water quality in our rivers and streams

Increase funding to community groups and NGOs to protect and promote our rivers, streams, lakes, estuaries and coastlines 

Improve the ecological condition of protected freshwater and marine habitats

See the full list of Programme for Government

commitments on freshwater and the marine here (page 70).

Recent freshwater & the marine news:

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