Opportunities and inspiration: reflecting on the Reimagining Irish Rivers conference
Coinciding with World Water Day, this conference explored themes of restoration, management, biodiversity, and river communities working in Ireland, bringing together the science, practices, and people invested in healthy rivers. It was attended by more than 1,000 people across two days.
Session themes included:
• Managing river flow
• Tackling biodiversity threats in our river catchments
• Catchment management through partnership working
• Achieving for rivers with small resources
The Rivers Trust’s All Ireland Director Mark Horton was part of the organising team, along with Catherine Dalton (Maigue Rivers Trust and Department Geography, Mary Immaculate College-University of Limerick), Anne Goggin (Limerick City and County Council and European Green Leaf Award 2020), and Fran Igoe (Local Authority Waters Programme). Further Rivers Trust representation came from Deputy Technical Director Michelle Walker and Project Manager Dan Turner, who delivered presentations on Citizen Science and Natural Flood Management, respectively.
Mark Horton said: “When we started to plan this conference, we wanted to make sure that it would demonstrate the breadth and depth of the challenges and opportunities that face us all in river and catchment management in Ireland. We also wanted to give as many different examples as possible of the great work that is being done across the country. I am delighted to say the conference achieved just that.
“With over 800 delegates from not just Ireland, but also France, Bulgaria, the USA and New Zealand, the conference showcased what can be done to protect, improve and reimagine Ireland’s rivers, as well as encouraged lively debate on how we can do things different, bigger and better. This is very much the beginning of a national conversation about the future of Ireland’s rivers and the public’s role in river stewardship and conservation.”