2022 was a busy year for the AQUAFACT team. In February, we became part of the APEM Group, enhancing the marine and laboratory offering and allowing us to offer marine, freshwater and terrestrial services to more clients in Ireland and beyond. Hereâ€™s what else has happened this year.
Weâ€™ve broadened our capabilities and passed on our knowledge and skills to our colleagues, businesses and the community. Members of the AQUAFACT team undertook training to increase our field and diving resources. We provided SSRS (Small Stream Risk Score) training to ecology staff on local councils, fisheries boards and private companies. And we showcased our benthic SPI capability, which allows a three-dimensional appreciation of the seabed. Take a look at some of our incredible images here.
A lot of our work has to be kept under wraps, but here are some of our notable projects of 2022:
We undertook fieldwork to install tidal gauges and for a flood relief scheme around Lough Swilly, Co. Donegal.
Our brand new Zodiac got its first spin as an AQUAFACT vessel, and will be used for sampling in shallow coastal waters and estuarine waters. It hasnâ€™t yet been granted a name, so watch this space!
Our team have been sampling in River Shannon and designated shellfish production water bodies, taking water and sediment samples for in-house physical and chemical analysis and assessment.
We were delighted to be involved in the classification of Tawin lagoon, in Galway Bay, which will afford it increased site protection measures. Read our case study for more information.
As part of an ongoing research contract with the Marine Institute, the AQUAFACT technical team is providing advice and laboratory services to support the national zooplankton monitoring programme.
We were awarded a four-year contract for the provision of support on Irelandâ€™s Marine Institute shellfish biotoxin programme, building on an existing agreement that has been in place since 2014.
AQUAFACT ecologist Aisling Hearty at work on the River Shannon, Co. Limerick
2022 also saw a return to getting out and about to events. Back in the Spring, we joined APEM and Woodrow at the 2022 Annual Wind Energy Ireland conference, bringing our onshore and offshore expertise to the table. In October, we met again with a stand at Environment Ireland, where we looked at Irelandâ€™s green future and energy independence goals. And at our Ireland recruitment event at the National Software Centre in Cork, we discussed the relationship between business and biodiversity in Ireland with Natural Capital Ireland and colleagues from APEM and Woodrow.
Thank you to our clients and team for a fantastic year at AQUAFACT, and hereâ€™s to a prosperous 2023. Weâ€™re excited to see what the New Year brings!