Clean Coasts recently hosted the Ocean Hero Awards Ceremony at the Radisson Blu Royal Hotel in Dublin, recognizing outstanding efforts by groups, individuals, communities, and businesses in protecting local coastlines and the environment. Established in 2006, the awards have evolved, engaging over 2,000 Clean Coasts groups and 40,000 volunteers, becoming integral to coastal communities nationwide.
Marking its 20th Anniversary, Clean Coasts celebrated the contributions of dedicated groups and volunteers across Ireland. In 2023, seven categories featured 33 shortlisted groups and individuals competing for the title of Ocean Hero.
In County Kerry, Fenit Coast Conservation Group and Maharees Conservation Association were recognized. Abby and Chloe Stephenson from Banna Coastcare, along with Darragh O’Connor and Timmy Jones from Maharees Conservation Association, were nominated in the Youth of the Year category. Maharees Conservation Association also earned a nomination for Campaigner of the Year for their work with “Think Before You Flush.”
Banna Rescue, Banna Coastcare & Presentation Secondary School, Tralee received a nomination in the Event of the Year category, while Tralee Tidy Towns secured a nomination in Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion. Ed Sheldon from Fenit Coast Conservation was shortlisted for Individual of the Year.
Martha Farrell from Maharees Conservation won Individual of the Year, recognized for inspiring change and conservation efforts along the coastline. Farrell’s passion for her local area extends to coordinating clean-ups, biodiversity talks, history talks, and fundraising activities. She is an active member of Tralee Tidy Towns, contributing to weekly clean-ups.
The Ocean Hero Awards celebrate the dedication and impact of those striving to protect and conserve Ireland’s coastlines.