Minister launches €6.7 million climate change research initiative led by UCD

Aine Conaty

The project was led by UCD in partnership with Aberystwyth University

The minister of State for Community Development, Natural Resources and Digital Development has launched an investment of €6.7 million into a climate change research project called Acclimatize.

This new project will be in collaboration with UCD and Aberystwyth University in the UK.

“It is aiming to conduct research on pollution risks for urban and rural bathing waters in Ireland and Wales and will do this by identifying pollution sources and determining their impact,” said Minister of State for Community Development Seán Kyne.

The project was funded to show the impact of climate change and the effects it can cause. “It is important research because of the impact of Climate Change which is causing more extreme weather events – such as Ophelia – but also threatening water quality because of changing water flows and currents,” Minister Kyne added.

Acclimatize was partly funded by the European Regional Development Fund and, “the overall objective of the project is to improve the quality of coastal waters in both Ireland and Wales, boosting local tourism and supporting marine industries, such as shellfish harvesting,”  the project manager of Acclimatize Audrey Murray said.

The main focus of Acclimatize will be towards marine life and to find sources of pollution that may be affecting the marine life of Ireland and the UK. This project could mean huge changes to the wildlife of Ireland.

Initial research has already been successful this year in Cemaes Bay in Anglesey and is a great foundation for the project. This project is to benefit a number of people but especially local economies that are dependant on tourism and clean bathing water.

The project officially started in February 2017 and it will be completed and published in 2022.

Speaking at the launch of the project Minister Kyne said, “Research initiatives such as Acclimatize are very important in assisting government and other stakeholders in making informed decisions which maximise the effectiveness of the funding available. Acclimatize is also a very positive example of how EU funds are being used to support local economies to address pollution in our coastlines and mitigate the impacts of climate change”.


Aine Conaty

Image Credit: UCD