Hook Lighthouse to Help ‘Save Our Seas’

Hook Lighthouse in Co Wexford – the oldest working lighthouse in the world – is to open this August a brand-new Eco Education Station under the theme ‘SOS – Save Our Seas’.

The Eco Education Station will be located at the former plant on the lighthouse grounds. The exhibition will include a mixture of media elements, as well as hands-on activities for visitors. Both will illustrate the water cycle, along with the wider aspects of pollution, human interaction and individual responsibility.

A particular focus is to be placed on global warming, with the Eco Education Station highlighting its effect on the water cycle, sea levels, tides, currents, wind, temperatures and the propagation of plastics in our oceans. Visitors will also be asked to ‘clean up their acts’ and take a pledge to help reduce sea pollution, clean our seas and coastlines and use less and waste less.

Commenting on the planned opening and the new ‘Save Our Seas’ message, Ann Waters, Manager at Hook Lighthouse, says in a statement: “It is time for critical action around climate change. There is small movement and certainly more awareness around ecological living but more than radical change is needed.”

“Of the 9.1 billion tons of plastic produced since 1950, close to 7 billion tons are no longer in use. It is estimated that 9 per cent was recycled, 12 per cent was incinerated, and the remaining 5.5 billion tons remain in the oceans and land. With this in mind, knowing that even biodegradable plastic doesn’t necessarily decompose the way it should depending on where it ends up, there really is only one solution – use zero to as little plastic as you possibly can.”

Hook Lighthouse has had an environmental strategy in place since 2012. This strategy focuses on waste and energy reduction. The lighthouse recycles all paper, cardboard, tin cans, aluminium cans, plastic, glass, electrical waste and clothes. Where possible only local suppliers are used at the on-site cafe and the site also has a zero-plastic policy in place.

The Eco Education Station will be officially opened on Saturday, August 10 to coincide with World Lighthouse Day on August 7. The day commemorates the signing of the Act for the Establishment and support of Lighthouse, Beacons, Buoys, and Public Piers by the U.S. Congress in 1789.

The official opening of the Eco Education Station takes place at 5pm on August 10 and the World Lighthouse Celebration on-site sees a variety of events on offer for all of the family at Hook. This includes sea shanties and pirate games for kids from 5pm to 7pm.

The new Eco Education Station will be open and freely accessible to all visitors. Later in the evening at 7.30pm, a ticketed traditional fish and chip supper and drinks reception will take place at the lighthouse conservatory overlooking the rolling seas.

The existing Hook Lighthouse dates back as far as the 12th century, though tradition states that Dubhán, a missionary to the Wexford area, established a form of beacon as early as the 5th century. The headland is known in Irish as Rinn Dubháin, St. Dubhán’s Head. However, the similar-sounding Irish word ‘duán’ means a fishhook, hence the English name ‘Hook Lighthouse’.

A grant from the Fisheries Local Area Group Development Scheme (FLAG) has enabled the addition of the new Eco Education Station, a new pirate ship and a weather Station at Hook Lighthouse this year.

For further details, visit Hook Lighthouse’s website at www.hookheritage.ie.

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