Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Trump's Other Wall Plan Is Also Terrible for the Environment

Oceans
Trump's Other Wall Plan Is Also Terrible for the Environment
Trump wants to build a seawall on a public beach to protect his luxury golf resort in Ireland. Anne Estonilo / mouseROAR 2018

Before fixating on the U.S.-Mexico border, Donald Trump has sought for years to build a wall to protect his luxury golf resort in the west of Ireland.

In December 2017, the Trump International Golf Links in Doonbeg received approval from Clare County Council to build two 2,067-feet and 853-feet seawalls in length on a public beach for "coastal erosion management works." The walls are meant to protect the property from "global warming and its effects," according to its 2016 permit application.


Not only is that ironic for the Cimate-Denier-in-Chief, the project has been criticized for its potential harm to the environment and wildlife (much like Trump's controversial U.S. border wall.)

In response, the Save the Waves Coalition and its environmental partners filed separate appeals to Ireland's national planning board, An Bord Pleanála. A year after their appeals, the case still remains undecided and the groups are pressuring the board to take action.

The opponents argue that the seawalls could threaten the area's sensitive sand dune ecosystem that's home to rare species such as the tiny narrow-mouthed whorl snail.

"What we're faced with is the end of the sand dune system. The building of a coastal defense along the shoreline will stop the dunes from growing as they should," said Tony Lowes, director of Friends of the Irish Environment, in a press release.

'A Walk On the Beach' - Stop Donald Trump's Seawall! www.youtube.com

The walls could also accelerate erosion in adjacent areas and cause a "domino-effect" that will ultimately call for more wall and additional construction works.

"Before you know it, we end up armoring much bigger areas than we originally intended," Andrew Cooper, a professor of coastal studies at Ulster University, said in the release.

Trump's initial proposal to build a much longer 3-kilometer (1.86-mile) seawall was rejected in 2016 after a major opposition campaign that gathered 100,000 petition signatures.

Surfers are worried that walls will diminish the surf quality of Doughmore beach and even cause the popular surf spot to one day disappear.

“You hear about building a wall on a sand dune as supposedly a solution, but it's really just about trying to save someone's business for a few years,' Fergal Smith, a surfer, activist and Clare County local, said in the press release. "It doesn't really matter how much money it makes. If it destroys the ecosystem and if it's damaging this area, then there's no business."

Plastic bails, left, and aluminum bails, right, are photographed at the Green Waste material recovery facility on Thursday, March 28, 2019, in San Jose, California. Aric Crabb / Digital First Media / Bay Area News via Getty Images

By Courtney Lindwall

Coined in the 1970s, the classic Earth Day mantra "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" has encouraged consumers to take stock of the materials they buy, use, and often quickly pitch — all in the name of curbing pollution and saving the earth's resources. Most of us listened, or lord knows we tried. We've carried totes and refused straws and dutifully rinsed yogurt cartons before placing them in the appropriately marked bins. And yet, nearly half a century later, the United States still produces more than 35 million tons of plastic annually, and sends more and more of it into our oceans, lakes, soils, and bodies.

Read More Show Less
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
Rise and Resist activist group marched together to demand climate and racial justice. Steve Sanchez / Pacific Press / LightRocket / Getty Images

By Alexandria Villaseñor

This story is part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.

My journey to becoming an activist began in late 2018. During a trip to California to visit family, the Camp Fire broke out. At the time, it was the most devastating and destructive wildfire in California history. Thousands of acres and structures burned, and many lives were lost. Since then, California's wildfires have accelerated: This past year, we saw the first-ever "gigafire," and by the end of 2020, more than four million acres had burned.

Read More Show Less
Trending
U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland announced a pair of climate-related secretarial orders on Friday, April 16. U.S. Department of the Interior

By Jessica Corbett

As the Biden administration reviews the U.S. government's federal fossil fuels program and faces pressure to block any new dirty energy development, Interior Secretary Deb Haaland won praise from environmentalists on Friday for issuing a pair of climate-related secretarial orders.

Read More Show Less
David Attenborough narrates "The Year Earth Changed," premiering globally April 16 on Apple TV+. Apple

Next week marks the second Earth Day of the coronavirus pandemic. While a year of lockdowns and travel restrictions has limited our ability to explore the natural world and gather with others for its defense, it is still possible to experience the wonder and inspiration from the safety of your home.

Read More Show Less

By Michael Svoboda

For April's bookshelf we take a cue from Earth Day and step back to look at the bigger picture. It wasn't climate change that motivated people to attend the teach-ins and protests that marked that first observance in 1970; it was pollution, the destruction of wild lands and habitats, and the consequent deaths of species.

Read More Show Less