Snails accomplished what 16 Republican primary opponents and Hillary Clinton could not: defeat Donald Trump. The US president-elect just withdrew plans to build a massive seawall that would protect his Irish golf resort from rising sea levels caused by the climate change that he previously said is a Chinese hoax. Environmental activists opposed the development that would have extended 1.7 miles (2.8 kilometers) on Doughmore Beach in the Atlantic Coast village of Doonbeg, claiming that construction of the 15-foot limestone wall would have destroyed the EU-protected Carrowmore Dunes sand dune habitat that is home to the rare prehistoric snail, vertigo anguistor.
California-based environmental organization Save the Waves Coalition worked with Irish and European environmental and surfing groups to defeat the wall through the #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign, gathering more than 10,000 petition signatures from around the world.
Trump International Golf Links Doonbeg management has reportedly proposed a scaled back barrier for submittal to Clare County Council that would extend to about 600 meters at the south of the beach and 250 meters at the north of the beach.
“Trump’s decision to walk away from the seawall proposal is a huge milestone for the #NatureTrumpsWalls campaign and we are very excited by this decision,” Nick Mucha, Save the Waves director of programs said in a statement. “We are proud to have brought worldwide attention to this issue and save Doughmore Beach from their ill-conceived proposal. Our work continues as they consider scaled back measures, but we are excited to spare Doughmore Beach of the monstrous seawall proposal.”
While Trump has recently waffled on his past statements denying the human connection to climate change and promising to withdraw the US from the Paris climate agreement, the documents submitted for the seawall in May were quite clear about the impact of climate change, stating that “rising sea levels and increased storm frequency and wave energy associated with global warming can increase the rate of erosion.”