The Minister of State with responsibility for the Office of Public Works (OPW), Patrick O’Donovan TD, today, visited Rosslare Strand to announce €7 million funding for further coastal protection and flood relief projects in the area.
Minister O’Donovan met with local public representatives, Council officials and local business interests to see where flood protection and erosion prevention works are required. The Minister announced that following the completion of a comprehensive study and report by RPS Consultants, the OPW has agreed to fund the progression of this major project by Wexford County Council to the next critical stage of detailed design and planning.
At various intervals in the past Rosslare has benefited from effective works undertaken by the OPW and Wexford County Council to protect the Rosslare shoreline and dune system from retreat. To support the benefits already achieved, additional works are now required to ensure that this important blue flag beach can continue to be protected into the future. Works to protect the landward shore of Rosslare spit from flood risk are also to be undertaken.
Speaking at the strand, Minister O’Donovan said:
“I am delighted to be here in Rosslare this morning to announce funding by the OPW for the design of the next stage of works to continue to protect this beautiful strand and dunes from coastal erosion.”
The coastal protection measures for Rosslare consist of a rock revetment, rock groynes, and beach nourishment measures on the seaward side of Rosslare Spit. Separate flood defence measures will be progressed on the landward side. The project will be led by Wexford County Council, which is soon to begin the procurement of a main design consultant.
Minister O’Donovan continued:
“In addition to the coastal protection works at the Strand, the OPW is also providing funding to Wexford County Council under its Minor Flood Mitigation Works and Coastal Protection Scheme to carry out flood protection works on the landward side of Rosslare Spit. These coastal and flood protection works are a good example of the constructive working relationship between the OPW and local authorities to deliver projects which bring real benefits to local communities across the country. In partnership with local authorities, the OPW is delivering a €1 billion programme of investment in flood capital works many of which are in coastal locations and will help to alleviate risk and impact from flooding from rivers and the sea."
Speaking on the issue of incremental nature of addressing coastal change the Minister said:
“Rosslare is just one example of how coastal erosion is a major issue for coastal communities across Ireland’s extensive coastline, especially where the coast is soft. The impacts of climate change and the anticipated rise in sea levels in the future mean that the problem here in Rosslare and nationally needs more than just hard schemes to address the long term risks and impacts. I am happy to say that an Inter-Departmental Group has been established to scope out and report back to Government with an approach for the development of an integrated, whole of Government coastal strategy for managing our changing coast.”