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Sinn Féin Assembly Member expresses alarm at National Park Coastal Report

22 January, 2008

South Down Sinn Féin Assembly Member Willie Clarke has expressed alarm at the findings of a report published this week by National Trust that warns of rising sea levels and stormy weather which may damage a number of the North's beauty spots including the Murlough National Nature Reserve.

Cllr Clarke said:

"The report entitled 'Shifting Shores: Living with a Changing Coastline' says coastal erosion and flooding could result from projected rising sea levels of a metre or more by the end of this century.

"This would have a major impact on some the North's most important tourist and wildlife areas and Newcastle's coastline could be badly affected by climate change and the resulting changes to our weather.

"I agree with Hilary McGrady, National Trust director for the six counties, who has called for more detailed coastal data to be gathered. She rightly points out that the current development plans and planning policy statements, must take predicted coastal change into account otherwise some of our most important natural assets and habitats could be lost for ever." ENDS

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