Dublin Bay, located on the east coast of Ireland is relatively small, shallow and sandy with a rich biodiversity. It is an area of both intense economic activity and environmental importance.
The Bay is located where a number of significant river basins come together. The mouth is approximately 10km wide, stretching from Howth Head in the North to Dalkey Point in the South. The Bay is also home to many coastal communities and villages. Dublin Bay has a number of important designations including an extensive Natura 2000 network of Special Protection Areas for birds and Special Areas of Conservation as well as an UNESCO Biosphere designation on Bull Island.
The Bay is also the epicentre for economic activity in the wider Dublin region. Dublin Port is Ireland’s largest port and handled 28 million tonnes in 2013. As the key facilitator of trade into and out of Ireland it has a critical impact on regional and national economies. Equally, it is a gateway into the country for millions of visitors each year.
Dublin Bay strategic framework
As part of the Celtic Seas Partnership project the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly (EMRA) are developing a strategic management framework for Dublin Bay to assist the implementation of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). This will include trying to establish integrated management of the coastal area around Dublin Bay.
Although there are many existing reports, strategies and plans about the management and development of the Bay, there is still a need for a transparent and coherent framework for integrated management. This will support MSFD and ensure a balanced assessment of the economic, social and environmental issues concerning Dublin.
Engaging with stakeholders
As part of developing the strategic framework EMRA will work with a wide group of stakeholders to share data and information and drive consensus for a strategic vision managing and developing Dublin Bay.
The key objectives of this part of the project are to:
- Create a framework for strategic management of Dublin Bay which supports implementation of MSFD
- Develop coordinated terrestrial and marine planning in Dublin Bay
- Develop decision-making and planning frameworks for coastal communities which are in keeping with integrated coastal management principles and the ecosystem based approach
For further information on how you can get involved get in touch with Travis O’Doherty, the Dublin Bay Project Officer.