What is Bertra Connected
Bertra Connected began over concern for Bertra Beach and Dunes. Although unfunded, it quickly became clear it need to look at the very future of the coastal landscape and its local communities (hence ‘Connected’ in the title). The idea is to develop a local climate adaptation plan for the wider area.
To do this we are very aware how social, economic, cultural and environmental aspects are all intertwined and need to be incorporated in any vison of the future. So it is about looking after our natural landscape and about community development.
Who is Bertra Connected
The Group consists of local communities, academia, local government, national agencies and non-governmental organisations [it includes: Murrisk Development Association, the Climate Action Regional Office (CARO), National Parks and Wildlife Service, Mayo County Council, the Geography Dept (University of Galway), Clean Coasts & Leave No Trace].
The tombolo out to the island has been completely covered in dunes in the past. It also has been nearly completely absent of vegetation at some point (no in-depth studies have been conducted to investigate Bertra’s history). Periods of sand fencing use and dune regeneration have also occurred. Post 2010 the use of hard infrastructure was used, and failed to halt erosion at that time. Since then no further interventions have occurred. A very noticeable erosional trend is evident since 2010.
A group of concerned locals from Murrisk, Mayo County Council and NUI Galway came together in 2018 to look at the issue of erosion at Bertra Beach, and Bertra Connected (BC) was formed.
2018 - 2021
The BC Group expanded and began to develop ideas on how to progress, including looking for funding to support itself and its actions. The global pandemic severely halted its momentum. Small scale actions did continue though, especially around awareness raising.
In the spring of 2022 funding was secured from the Heritage Council and ACT was appointed to produce the Bertra 2050 Vision and Community Stewardship Plan through an engagement process with the relevant stakeholders. Through workshops this collective vision was developed with the concept of community stewardship at its core.