Call to clean up Lough Neagh

As a charity who campaigns for healthy wetlands, we are calling for immediate action to clean up Lough Neagh, one of the UK’s most important wetlands, providing 40% of Northern Ireland’s drinking water.

Healthy wetlands, such as lakes, rivers and marshes, support more life than any other habitat on earth. The poisoning of the UK’s largest freshwater lake by toxic algal blooms is catastrophic for a huge range of the nation’s wildlife, communities and businesses.

We, along with other campaigners, are calling for an immediate, fully-funded, multi-departmental emergency plan to clear the algal blooms.

Tragically, this is not just a simple, short-term problem. To fully restore the Lough back to health, a range of long-term initiatives need to be put in place.

One of the main issues is pollution from surrounding agriculture, developments and water treatment plants entering the Lough. Encouragingly, the right policies and funding can stop this happening.

We already know there are a range of proven measures that can be implemented to prevent water pollution, including specially constructed, low-cost treatment wetlands which naturally filter out pollutants at source.

We need our leaders to have the vision to start delivering these solutions –they can’t afford not to. Healthy wetlands are a vital national resource and protecting them should be a national priority.

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