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The Shifting Tides Project - Our First Six Months...



An update from Suzie Cahn, Director of The Shifting Tides

The following update is for anyone who has expressed an interest in a Shifting Tides event, or the project generally. I wanted to share what we have been up to in the first six months and signpost some things that are in the works for the summer and autumn.


The Project Team spent the first few months behind the scenes reaching out to contacts around the Lough and farther afield to get a sense of interested creatives and marine ecology folk, as well as those already active on and around Carlingford Lough’s shores and even under its surface.


We developed the project website as a repository for blogs, creative events and to support coastal communities with learning about marine ecosystems and the people across the island engaged in research and conservation or restoration of coastal habitats.


If you have missed out on anything or want to revisit parts of an event, you can now find:


Past event summaries with images and videos


For example, the first event back at the beginning of February: The coastal foraging walk and performance of Where Seaweed Dances, created by team members Samuel Arnold Keane and Danae Wollen, with elements woven in from Declan Mallon’s oral history collection and photography and video from Alex McMaster and soundscapes created by other show contributors and sound engineers.


Below you can see a couple of images from the Where Seaweed Dances performance:




We invite you to read some of the creative process and motivations from the show’s creators:


Of course, along with the weaving of new ways of seeing or challenging current views through the arts, Shifting Tides is catalyzing citizen scientists from the coastal communities around the Lough.


Shifting Tides team member Alex’s blog explains why the project is hoping to do this and the speakers at the Citizen Science Symposium and official project launch gave a wider context around our focus.


You can watch back speakers such as:


  • Martha Farrell, who travelled from Maharees in County Kerry to share how her local conservation association's community-led partnership for climate adaptation, nature restoration, and discovery - watch here

  • Panel Discussion: Citizen Science & Community Action - watch here.


Since the symposium at the end of February, we have continued to provide opportunities for and signposts to learning, both in-person shore surveying workshops and a webinar series which can be watched back below:


Our Resources page on the website is growing and you can follow links below to easy-to-follow online learning opportunities, including externally provided mini courses in citizen science, recordings of past webinars, reports and external websites:



Our own live and interactive events continue to grow in number. We hosted two in-person citizen science events with Dave Wall. The first one took place on the Northern shore (see photos below) and focused on beaches while Dave, during the ROIs National Biodiversity Week, gave another well-attended rock pools talk after Carlingford Tidy Towns beach clean.




So, what is next for Shifting Tides?


The call for additional creatives has gone out. If you missed it, you can watch back our Creative’s Briefing recording here.


As proposals come in, plans for visual arts, music, writers and more are coming together with interesting results we hope. There is not a final date for proposals but when all the resources are allocated, then the call will close.


If you want to make sure others know about the project or if you haven’t done so yet, please fill in our expression of interest form. That way we can be sure to keep everyone informed of summer and autumn happenings.


In the meantime, team member Declan Mallon will be helping gather more oral histories of times around the Lough and helping others learn the basics of how to do the same, as kind of citizen social historians.


Alex McMaster will be back in Carlingford in the summer working with divers and writers.


And we know Samuel and Danae are nurturing wonderful things to come too.


Citizen Science Update


With summer around the corner, we will check in with everyone who took part in our citizen science workshops earlier in the year. We hope you will have been able to get out on the shore to discover some of the wonders of the undersea world. Perhaps you will have been able to record some of your sightings. If you have, then we would love to hear from you!


On Thursday, 13 June we will holding an informal online chat for anyone that has been out on the shore or who has an interest in getting involved - we invite you to register for this free event here.


Later in the summer, on the evening of 27 July (Irish Sea Day), we will be holding an in-person meet-up for people to share their findings and observations from around the Lough. We would love to see you there - details / venue will be announced soon.


Observer Course


Calling all SCUBA divers!


Shifting Tides has teamed up with Seasearch to run a two-day Observer course on Carlingford Lough on 27-28 August 2024.


This is an introductory course aimed at giving divers and snorkelers a basic grounding in recording marine life. The formal teaching element will take place on Saturday with water-based sessions taking place on Sunday, giving participants an opportunity to practise what they have learned. At the end of the course, you'll get a Seasearch Qualification booklet. Once you have completed five forms for real (two on dives with a tutor available to help) you will be a qualified Seasearch Observer and will be able to take part in Seasearch dives or snorkels. There will be opportunities to network with divers from other clubs and to get involved with recording scientific data that can have a meaningful effect for the Lough.


Please send all enquiries to seasearchni@gmail.com, providing your name, certification level, and club affiliation. The cost for the course is £80/€93 although bursaries are available for anyone that might be inhibited from taking part due to cost.


Happy exploring!


Suzie



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