New publication launched by Intel Ireland to celebrate the Friends of the Rye

Intel Ireland last week launched ‘The Friends of the Rye’, a special publication that celebrates over three decades of stewardship of the Rye River waters, including investigations which have documented the aquatic life and water quality of the waters since the early 1990’s.

The publication was launched at a celebratory event, hosted at the Courtyard Hotel in Leixlip, which brought together local representatives and interest groups who have been an important part of the story of the Rye. The launch event was also attended by Malcolm Noonan T.D., Minister of State for Heritage and Electoral Reform.

Since first establishing operations in Leixlip in 1989 Intel has been mindful of the rich biodiversity contained within its site and also the significance of the Rye Water, which flows through the Northern part of the Intel campus.

Intel has a long-standing commitment to the monitoring of the waters through the funding of annual reports. This detailed monitoring of the River Rye, one of the longest running, continuous freshwater assessments of salmonid populations, has reached an important milestone as it is now in the 30th year of reporting.

To mark this occasion, and to share the wealth of unique information obtained through years of monitoring, Intel has commissioned a special publication – The Friends of the Rye.The publication, compiled by AQUENS at University College Dublin,is an important reflection of the invaluable data that has been provided by the river water and valley.

When Intel Ireland first located at the Leixlip site, the Rye Water was at risk due to large overgrowth of aquatic plants as a result of heavy silting that destroyed the natural fish habitat. Only a few salmon spawning beds had managed to survive the siltation and bankside erosion.

Intel recognised their potential to improve the Rye Water and since 1994, have sponsored many rehabilitation works in order to enhance its potential as natural salmon and trout habitat. As a result of partnerships formed through the initial rehabilitation project, the ‘Friends of the Rye’ group was established.

The Friends of the Rye brings together a number of key stakeholders, all of whom share a common interest – the welfare of the Rye Water catchment. The group meets regularly to discuss the current state as well as plans for the river. This new publication is dedicated to the commitment of the Friends of the Rye.

Speaking at the launch, Minister Noonan said, “We all know that the biodiversity crisis is an all-of-Government issue and an all-of-society issue, and that if we’re to tackle it, we have to work together. Collaboration and participation is at the heart of the most impactful initiatives, and Intel’s work on the River Rye, over so many years and engaging so many stakeholders to act on the science, is testament to this.

“I was impressed to learn that this initiative’s continued monitoring of the Rye amounts to one of the longest running continuous freshwater assessments of salmonid populations in Ireland. Such a long-term commitment, over and above regulatory requirements, is to be commended. It highlights how rivers are interconnected with local landscapes and local communities, and the role industry can play in helping to weave those things together over time, along with scientific expertise, for the benefit of all.”

Intel’s commitment to the Rye River waters has amounted to more than €750,000 over the last 30 years. The story of the river to date is an important example of how industry presence in local communities can go hand in hand with fostering an interest, and protection, of biodiversity.

Also speaking at the launch event, Intel Ireland Factory Manager Joe Bolger said, “We are strongly committed to preservation and enhancement of the Rye Waters which are an important and beautiful natural feature of our campus in Leixlip. By commissioning this special publication, we hope to create a timeless resource to be shared by many. We also hope to highlight the years of detailed monitoring and assessment which have helped us to understand this unique amenity. Initiatives over the past number of years, including the establishment of the Friends of the Rye group, are a shining example of positive collaboration between a diverse group of stakeholders”.

The Friends of the Rye group is made up of representatives from Intel, Kildare County Council, AQUENS Ltd., Inland Fisheries Ireland, Leixlip and District Anglers Association, Ryevale Lawns Residents Association and Carton House.

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