Irish Sailing Association Come on Board

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Bill Murphy (Chairman of Leave No Trace Ireland) gave a presentation to the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) at their national conference in Dublin on 8th March.

‘Developing Local Watersports Communities’ was the overall theme of the conference, focusing on grass roots participation. Two hundred people attended the national conference and delegates included those from ISA sailing clubs, class associations and sail training centres. During the conference over 30 seminars took plac including a range of topics from the maritime environment to club development.

Overall the weekend was deemed a huge success by the organisers. Leave No Trace was introduced under the heading of ‘using watersports as a means of introducing people to and promoting environmental awareness’. Bill Murphy gave a presentation on the 7 principles and explored through examples of how they might be applied in a maritime or water based environment. Principles like plan ahead and prepare or respect other users have immediate and applicable messages however, others such as references to fires and camping are more problematic.

Despite these challenges the response from the ISA through a question and answer session was excellent and it is genuinely interested in exploring and bringing the Leave No Trace message to its environment and sport. Amongst those attending the Leave No Trace presentation were the ISA President, Mr. Peter Crowley and the ISA Chief Executive Mr. Harry Harmon along with Bernadette Fox ,ISA Development and Membership Officer, all of whom expressed a willingness and enthusiasm to work with Leave No Trace Ireland to develop a maritime adaptation of the principles. Leave No Trace Ireland is investigating the feasibility of producing a sea-based programme applicable to Irish conditions and have been in contact with Leave No Trace in the USA to see what sea-based programmes are already available and could be used in the Irish situation. For more information on the ISA, please visit www.sailing.ie.

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