Celebrate the Year of the Sea on Europe Day at Aberystwyth Bandstand

30 April 2018

The sand dunes at Ynys Las. Image: Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales
The sand dunes at Ynys Las. Image: Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales

Aberystwyth University and the Royal Commission on Ancient and Historic Monuments of Wales (RCAHMW) will mark Europe Day on Wednesday 9 May 2018 with an exhibition of marine research at Aberystwyth Bandstand.

Open to the public between 10am and 2pm, the exhibition will feature four major research projects Ecostructure, Bluefish, CHERISH and Acclimatize.

In all, the projects have attracted €18m of European Union funding provided by the European Regional Development Fund Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020 http://irelandwales.eu/ and are jointly run by partner organisations in Wales and Ireland.

The projects seek to address pressing questions designed to help coastal communities of West Wales and South East Ireland adapt to the impacts of climate change affecting the Irish Sea and adjacent areas.

Visitors to the bandstand exhibition will be able to see:

  • Prototype eco-designs that the ECOSTRUCTURE project will be testing to provide new homes for sea life on existing engineered coastal structures to enhance biodiversity.
  • The work of the BLUEFISH project to identify mussel larvae within plankton by making them glow, and the use of DNA to monitor the health and genetic diversity of cockle, scallop and seabass populations.
  • 3D computer models of the coastline and aerial photos of some iconic coastal heritage sites as well as the state of the art surveying gear used by the CHERISH project. The team will also demonstrate techniques used to study past climate change and weather extremes.
  • An overview of the Acclimatize project which is developing real-time modelling and operational management of bathing water quality and prediction of climate change impacts.

Liz Humphreys from the Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS) at Aberystwyth University said: “Our Europe Day celebrations in Aberystwyth this year will be an opportunity for the general public to learn about the vital research projects undertaken by Aberystwyth University and partner organisations in and around the Irish Sea as a result of grant aid from the European Regional Development Fund Ireland Wales Cooperation Programme 2014-2020.”

“Many Welsh and Irish cities, towns and transport links are situated on the coast and the sea plays a significant role in their economies, natural ecosystems and cultural heritage.  However, many of these are under threat from the predicted effects of climate change including extreme weather and sea level rise.”

“Coastal communities on both sides of the Irish Sea will need to adapt to the impacts of these events and institutions from both countries are sharing existing knowledge and undertaking new research to monitor impacts of climate change and strengthen the resilience of coastal communities.”

“The four projects are designed to build on the strengths and economic potential of the Irish Sea coastal economies to produce sustainable prosperity and growth, and each of these projects involve trans-national working with partners in Ireland as well as close collaboration with key agencies in Wales.”

To find out more, visit the exhibition at the Bandstand at Aberystwyth between 10am and 2pm on Wednesday 9 May, 2018.