Agata Szyczewska from Scoil Mhuire, Carrick on Shannon
Students from 15 schools were honoured at an award ceremony this week celebrating the winners of this year’s Green-Schools Marine Spatial Planning Competition: Our Ocean, Our Plan.
Nine students were awarded for their posters depicting their vision for the future of Ireland’s seas and eight school groups won for their 3D models showing how they envisage our seas’ future. Leitrim student Agata Szyczewska from Scoil Mhuire, Carrick-on-Shannon won first prize in the Infants Category for her poster.
In partnership with the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Green-Schools asked students to create posters or 3D models showing how they would like Ireland’s seas to be used in the future. The competition ties in with The National Marine Planning Framework, which will try to balance the different demands for using the sea including the need to protect the marine environment. The framework is about planning when and where human activities take place at sea and ensuring these activities are as efficient and sustainable as possible. The competition was open to schools taking part in the Green-Schools Marine Environment theme, which encourages schools to discover how their work on the Green-Schools programme has positively, influenced people and their local environment while focusing on our oceans and seas.
As part of their work on the Marine Environment theme schools are asked to investigate the sources of marine litter, take part in a #2minutebeachclean and carry out a Marine Litter Awareness survey. The results of this survey in 2022 have shown that schools made great strides in learning about marine issues, increasing their knowledge of reasons why marine litter is bad for the environment from 44% to 85% and strengthening their awareness of the ways in way climate change affects the marine environment from 35% to 74%.
Green-Schools Manager Cathy Baxter added, "It's amazing to see the innovative and creative ideas that have been produced as part of this competition. Thanks to everyone who participated, it's fantastic to be able to celebrate in person with you all at today's event."
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