Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard has congratulated representatives from Ballyhornan Development Association following the 2017 Coast Care Awards at Stormont.
Acknowledging the work of individuals and groups involved in the Clean Coasts Programme, the awards recognise the vital role volunteers play in protecting our coastline and inland waterways.
Mr Hazzard said: “I was privileged a number of months ago to sponsor our local Ballyhornan volunteers to participate in this awards programme.
“They really are a phenomenal group of people who have worked miracles for the rejuvenation and protection of Ballyhornan Beach and adjacent coastline.
“To win the overall Coast Care award is a recognition of the incredible work that they have undertaken in recent years.
“From cleaning the beach on a regular basis, to their unprecedented success in planting thousands of native beach grasses to restore and protect the sand dunes.
“They have also campaigned tirelessly in securing EU Bathing Water status for local waters in east Down.
“This is an issue that is not only crucial in protecting the natural environment but also vital in the overall growth and development of our local economy.
Mr Hazzard added: “The people of South Down and those who travel from further afield to enjoy the natural beauty of our coastline owe a huge debt of gratitude to these volunteers. They are an absolute credit to our local community.”