Irish marine and coastal habitats intro

Ireland is on the edge of Europe, it is stationed on the Atlantic fringe and this makes it a pivotal location for climate research, as it is a location that can be used for both research on ocean climate change theories and hypothese testing along with solar-mediated (sun changes) hypothese trials.

However, investigating how climate change and pollution is affecting you and your local area is just as important and I will share with you as much of my knowledge as I can so you can do your own field work.  Fieldwork is about learning about science and ecology and how it effects the world that we live especially our local areas! Over the next couple of weeks I will be sharing information on how to do fieldwork on marine habitats.

To start with I will give you some information on Irish marine habitats so you can look into the types of environmental legislation and protection that is in place in your country and local area, you can do this by checking on the internet for published documents or contacting the environmental agency in your local area (in Ireland we have county councils.)

In Ireland there are a number of marine habitats defined by the 1992 EU Habitats Directive (92\43\EC) as transposed by the EC (National Habitats) Regulations (S.I. 94 of 1997).

As a result of this legislation a series of habitats have been identified and Special Areas of Conservation designated to preserve these habitats in Ireland.

The habitats include:

  • Estuaries
  • Large shallow inlets & bays
  • Mudflats & sand-flats not covered by the sea at high tide
  • Reefs
  • Sandbanks that are slightly covered by seawater at all times.
  • Submerged or partly submerged sea caves

Using photography, watercolour painting and journalling as tools to investigate defining features of habitats is a great way to learn more about the environment and how to live in harmony with it.  I will be sharing my experience and knowledge on how to do this and also give tutorials on how to make simple tools like a rain gauge to regularly monitor rainfall and learn first-hand about the science of hydrology. You can explore my findings in the TAKE ACTION section here.

Siobhan.

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