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Primary Schools Initiative 2019

Primary Schools Initiative 2019

Monday 28 January 2019


Bantry Bay Port Company and MaREI Team Up to Deliver a Primary Schools Initiative for a Healthy Harbour

Calling all 5th Class Teachers!

Bantry Bay Port Company has teamed up with MaREI, the UCC research centre for marine and renewable energy based in Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork, to deliver an educational initiative around marine litter.

Themed ‘Maintaining a Healthy Harbour’ the initiative aims to make school children aware of marine litter and the detrimental effects it can have on our oceans, harbour and shorelines. With the help of MaREI, classes are encouraged to collect and use marine litter and recycled items to create a 3D art project that will make people stop and think. Researchers estimate that over 10 million tonnes of litter ends up in the world’s oceans each year and 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals (seals, whales, dolphins) die every year because of marine litter through entanglement or ingestion. There is a growing public awareness of the issue, and with almost half of all marine litter being made up of just 10 types of single-use plastic items, we can take steps to tackle the problem. 

Port of Cork and UCC team up to highlight the issue of marine litter through their primary school's initiative. Fact; Plastic bags are often mistaken for jelly fish and eaten by marine life.

Bantry Bay Port Company Chief Executive Mr Brendan Keating said: ‘Our schools Initiative has gone from strength to strength and this year are we delighted to partner with MaREI. They have great expertise in this area and their guidance in shaping the theme has been invaluable.’

He continued: ‘The issue of marine litter is apparent in all harbours and it is so important that school children recognise the impacts marine litter can have on a harbour both in and out of the water. As well as being educational, our initiative is fun and children have a great opportunity to be creative. I would strongly encourage primary schools in West Cork to take part in this initiative.’

MaREI’s Communications and Public Engagement Manager, Aoife Deane, commented: ‘We are delighted to be collaborating with Bantry Bay Port Company on their outreach initiative highlighting the value of Bantry harbour.  The ‘Healthy Harbour’ theme encourages students to think about the sources and impact of marine litter, and our reliance on single use plastics. The exhibition of their artwork is an opportunity to highlight these issues to a wider audience.’

To show our appreciation for taking part, all participating classes will be offered a complimentary boat trip to Whiddy Island and a tour of the island. These tours will take place in May/June 2019.

A panel of judges will select the most creative projects and from these select an overall ‘best’ project.  The class who receives ‘Best Project’ will be given a special prize. There are no charges incurred by the schools relating to any of these tours. 

Closing date for entries is Friday 12th April 2019.

If you would like more information on the Bantry Bay Port Company Schools Initiative or would like to register your school, please contact Paula Coughlan. Information is also available




For further information please contact;


Sara Mackeown

Commercial Marketing Executive

Port of Cork Company

Custom House Street


T12 CY88


Tel: +353 (0) 21 4625 375

Mobile: +353 (0)86 1044011


Follow us on Twitter @portofcork