Ramud pulled the last line back on to the boat and surveyed his haul. 12 medium sized herrings, some still flopping, sat between his legs in the reed boat. He wanted to surprise his wife on her birthday with a celebration meal and the waters were kind today to provide such a catch.
He gutted the fish at the shore and brought the flesh in to their reed house to slowly cook on the central fire. Hazi was still washing clothes downstream with other village women and he looked forward to the smile on her face as she smelled the food on her return.
“Nice” the red curly haired, freckled faced, 20 year old said as the he returned the book to shelf in Shannon Town library. “That guy sure paints a picture”.
Sam’s Detroit flight home had been delayed 6 hours at Shannon Airport so he had grabbed a cab to explore the local town.
He then noticed a talk was starting up. A lady rose to her feet and addressed the 10 or so people seated around. My name is Olive and welcome to World Wetlands Day here at Seán Lemass Library in Shannon.
As she explained the origins of the yearly celebration in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea a shiver passed through Ramud the Marsh Arab’s great-great-grandson 100 times removed and Sam sat down to listen..
The Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) is hosting / co-hosting 4 different community events in Co. Clare this week to Celebrate World Wetlands Day.
The 4 different free community events will focus on wetlands in County Clare and how they support biodiversity, help address climate change, and support human wellbeing.
All events are free and open to all.
Event No. 1: In advance of World Wetlands Day, you are invited to celebrate the newly created wetlands and the unveiling of a new illustrated sign highlighting the importance of wetlands.
Please join LAWPRO, Miltown Malbay Tidy Towns, local Councillors and others to celebrate this event, followed by a reception with refreshments in the Miltown Malbay Community Centre (Church Street).
What: Opening of newly created wetlands & unveiling of a new illustrated sign
Where: Church Car Park, Miltown Malbay & Reception in Community Centre
When: Thursday, 1st February @ 11:00 am
Event No. 2: Clare Wetlands Networking Event.Please join LAWPRO, Clare County Council and Inland Fisheries Ireland, with important community case studies, at this wetlands networking event for County Clare.
What: Celebrate World Wetlands Day – County Clare Networking Event
Where: Temple Gate Hotel, Ennis, Clare V95 HOXK
When: Thursday, 1st February 2024 @ 7pm
Event No. 3: You are invited by Shannon Town Community Wetlands (STCW) and LAWPRO to celebrate the importance of local wetlands with an illustrated talk in Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon Town and the Launch of Amateur Photography Competition focused on wetlands and biodiversity in County Clare (with light lunch) followed by a family friendly visit to the Shannon Town Community Wetlands site next to Gaelscoil Doinnach Rua.
What: Talk, Launch & Wetlands Site Visit
Where: Seán Lemass Public Library, Shannon Town (V14 WK50) followed by visit to Wetlands Site (parking at V14 AY84)
When: Friday, 2nd February 2024 @ 12:30 pm
Event No. 4: You are invited by LAWPRO and various East Clare community group to a family friendly event to celebrate World Wetlands Day on the beautiful shores of Lough Graney. The event will highlight the importance of East Clare wetlands, local folklore and tradition and the ecosystem services wetlands provide to us while supporting our wellbeing. Please bring along suitable clothing and footwear.
What: Family friendly field trip (talk & walk) – Lough Graney
Where: Car Park Area, Silver Sands, Lough Graney, Cahermurphy, East Clare
When: Saturday, 3rd February @ 11:00 am
Why not find out more about the wonderful wetlands in Shannon Town and wetlands in general?
More on this later, but did you know Faro, Portugal has a massive coastal wetlands?
But back to Shannon Town and I just had a lovely muddy New Year’s walk in the Shannon Wetlands in glorious sunshine!
Last week I was in Faro Portugal. And while we may have 7km2 of wetlands they have 700km2!
In fact, when the 1755 tsunami hit Lisbon, Faro was saved by its wetlands!
“The tsunami destroyed some coastal fortresses in the Algarve and, in the lower levels, it razed several houses. Almost all the coastal towns and villages of the Algarve were heavily damaged, except Faro, which was protected by sandy banks. In Lagos, the waves reached the top of the city walls. For the coastal regions, the destructive effects of the tsunami were more disastrous than those of the earthquake.”
Here’s a short video showing these wetlands from the aircraft when leaving Faro for Shannon. (Fun fact the end of the video shows the most southernly point in Europe!)
It was good to see the ponds much fuller with water than recent months and the areas of land that have been cleared should have fresh growth in the Spring.
Community Wetlands Forum made a very informative fact sheet about the Shannon Town Community Wetlands
Wonderful write-up early last month at https://communitywetlandsforum.ie/388222-2/
We had an excellent turn out on the from young (Little Bubbles play school Shannon) and old alike.
The weather was kind to us and we all enjoyed the knowledgeable talks from Ruairí (LAWPRO) and others on the day.
Here’s a few more photos from the day.