Two Meath Groups shortlisted in two categories in the Clean Coast’s Ocean Hero Awards 2021

Two Meath groups have been shortlisted in two categories in the Clean Coast’s Ocean Hero Awards 2021

Bettystown Tidy Towns and Gormanston Community Association Ltd have been nominated in the Big Beach Clean Award and Beach Clean Bubble Award categories.

The Big Beach Clean Award category celebrates groups who got involved in Clean Coast’s annual Big Beach Clean weekend that promotes clean-up events across Ireland to mark the end of the bathing season. The Beach clean bubble award acknowledges new and established Clean Coasts groups made up of close family and friends who banded together during lock-down to look after their local waterway or coastline.

All shortlisted Meath nominees were sent a congratulatory gift package to thank them for their contribution to coasts across Ireland despite the various challenges that 2021 brought.

Over the past two weeks Clean Coasts have honoured winning groups, individuals, communities and businesses who have won an Ocean Hero Award for outstanding work and commitment to their coastlines and areas.

Each year, the Ocean Hero Awards honour the invaluable contribution Clean Coasts volunteers, groups and communities have made towards conserving our spectacular coastline. The awards, originally called the ‘Clean Coasts Merit Awards’, were conceived in 2006.

Being Ireland’s foremost community-based coastal education programme, the Clean Coasts programme can count on the work of over 1,800 volunteer groups and over 37,000 volunteers. The involvement and support of the whole community are essential to the work of Clean Coasts and the Ocean Hero Awards is an award thought to recognise the invaluable contribution volunteers, groups and communities have made towards conserving the Irish coastline.

It has been an unusual year, and, like everyone, Clean Coasts and their volunteers have had to adapt. The continued support, engagement, and interest from the many Clean Coasts volunteers around the country has been outstanding, showing dedication and resilience through these testing times.

Clean Coasts understands that it was not possible for everybody to take part in clean-up activities this year and for some it was incredibly frustrating not to be able to get out to those places that they love and normally care for. Nonetheless, there is great value in sharing examples of the creative solutions that groups have come up with to inspire us all to look ahead to the new year.

In an effort to recognise the growth of our volunteer groups, the number of Ocean Hero categories have expanded to include ten categories in 2021.

The categories include:

Clean Coasts Group of Year

Clean Coasts Volunteer of the Year

Clean Coasts Youth of the Year

Clean Coasts #2minutebeachclean Leader Award

Clean Coasts #BigBeachClean Award

Clean Coasts Beach Clean Bubble Award

Clean Coasts #EnjoyandProtect Award

Think Before You Flush Community of the Year (supported by Irish Water)

Clean Coasts Corporate Volunteering Award

Clean Coasts Amazing Achievements Great and Small Award

Sinead McCoy, Clean Coasts Manager said: “I would like to congratulate all of the Ocean Hero Awardee, our shortlist and winners are incredibly inspiring volunteers, groups and communities that have made an outstanding contribution to protecting Ireland’s coastal environment.

"The Clean Coasts programme’s Ocean Hero Awards have been celebrating the incredible efforts of volunteers around the Irish Coastline since 2006. Although 2021 has been challenging at times it has been an incredible year for Clean Coasts and our network has grown so much and shown an incredible amount of dedication and care for our beaches, coastline, marine life and oceans. We were delighted to have received so many inspirational nominations that show not only the true dedication of these coastal custodians, but also that their efforts don’t go unnoticed by the community.”

The ten winners from each of the Ocean Hero categories hail from all over Ireland, including Cork, Dublin, Kerry, Louth, Mayo, Sligo and Wexford. These various ceremonies were filmed and compiled into a celebration video that can be found on Clean Coast’s YouTube Channel here: