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Recipients Of €65,000 Geological Funding Grant Announced

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The Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has announced plans for the 2019 Geological Survey Ireland Geoheritage funding awards.

A total of €65,000 will be provided to thirteen groups across eleven counties this year.

The grants will support the development and publication of educational and outreach materials by small community groups, established geotourism sites, aspiring geo parks and UNESCO Global Geoparks.

The aim of the fund is to encourage the telling of the Irish geological story and improve the understanding of geoscience while engaging with groups throughout the country.

Projects include a citizen science river observation pilot scheme in Lisdoonvarna, Co Clare, interpretive signs at Cousane Gap in the Sheehy Mountains of west Cork, and development of a guide to the geological heritage of Sligo town.

Announcing the opportunity, Minister Sean Canney TD, the State Minister for Natural Resources said: "It is great to see this community involvement with Geological Survey Ireland. It allows for meaningful engagement with geoscientists to use the data collected over the decades for local applications. It encourages local groups to take ownership of their heritage and to see the beauty and value in small, local stories."

GSI Director Koen Verbruggen expressed his delight that the Geopark Grant Scheme had been expanded this year and said he looks forward to the results of the community collaborations.

"The Geological Survey works throughout the country and this is one way to give back to communities, to foster good relationships, and to encourage people to work with us to use the data, maps and expertise to develop local tourism and educational resources.

"Geology is the foundation of the heritage of Ireland and should be celebrated as part of who we are. Our tourism industry is influenced by the landscape and the underlying rocks, and the geological and geographical features give rise to our agriculture, food, place names and traditions. Thanks to the broad diversity of geology in Ireland and the relative recentness of the shaping of the landscape, every townland has the potential for an interesting geoheritage story. Initially, the fund was available only to the three UNESCO Global Geoparks and aspiring geoparks but was opened to all groups this year in an effort to promote geodiversity, geoheritage and geoscience."


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