Media Contact:    Sinead McCoy
Phone:    087 1347950

Clean Coasts Symposium and  Ocean Hero Awards 2016
‘Celebrating Ocean Heroes’ 10th Anniversary’

1st December 2016,

2016 marks the 10th Anniversary of An Taisce’s Clean Coasts programme’s ‘Ocean Hero Awards’. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts’ Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006 to honour the invaluable contribution Ireland’s coastal communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline. The awards started out from humble beginnings with only one category, ‘The Clean Coasts’ Group of the Year’.

Since then the Clean Coasts’ programme has grown from strength to strength, with the addition of several new initiatives and the engagement of over 500 Clean Coasts groups. This steady increase has lead to the programme becoming embedded in the majority coastal communities nationwide. In an effort to recognise this growth Ocean Heroes has also expanded to comprise seven categories, Individual of the Year, Newcomer of the Year, School of the Year, Business of the Year, Beach Clean of the Year and the ‘Think Before You Flush’ Awareness Raising Award.

Sinead McCoy, Coastal Communities Manager with An Taisce’s Environmental Education Unit said “We are delighted to be celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Clean Coasts’ Ocean Hero Awards. The awards have really brought to the fore the remarkable work and wonderful coastal celebration events that Clean Coasts volunteers have been involved in over the past decade along the Irish coastline.”

Clean Coasts made an open call for nomination for the Ocean Hero Awards in September. Nominations were made over 7 different categories.

  1. Ocean Hero Award – ‘Think Before You Flush’ Awareness Raising Award, supported by Irish Water
  2. Ocean Hero Award – Individual of the Year
  3. Ocean Hero Award – Newcomer of the Year
  4. Ocean Hero Award – School of the Year
  5. Ocean Hero Award – Business of the Year
  6. Ocean Hero Award – Beach Clean of the Year

Clean Coasts is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Communication and Local Government, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Fáilte Ireland.



About Clean Coasts

Clean Coasts engages communities in the protection of Ireland’s beaches, seas and marine life. The programme is operated by the Environmental Education Unit of An Taisce and is currently funded by the Department of Housing, Planning, Communities and Local Government, Coca-Cola and Fáilte Ireland.

Clean Coasts has grown over the years and now includes two main national clean-up drives – Coca-Cola Clean Coasts Week and the Big Beach Clean. Our volunteering has expanded to include Corporate Volunteering and the Ocean Hero Awards also. Other aspects include the Green Coast Award, the Love Your Coast Photography competition, the Clean Coasts Roadshow for coastal communities and we are continuing to grow the Clean Coasts programme with the likes of Ocean Talks. The programme also operates several campaigns in Ireland including ‘Think Before You Flush’ and international campaigns ‘#2minutebeachclean’ and ‘Beat the Microbead’.  The Clean Coasts volunteering effort engages communities in the protection and conservation of their local coastal environment. There are currently 503 registered Clean Coasts groups. There are a variety of group types such as community groups, residents associations, tidy towns groups, sports clubs, schools, businesses, universities etc. Clean Coasts organises hundreds of beach clean-ups annually mobilising thousands of volunteers, removing considerable quantities of marine litter from Ireland’s beaches and waterway.