Importance of Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay is designated as a Special Protection Area (SPA) based on the wintering waterbirds that it supports. It is internationally important for Light-bellied Brent Goose, Knot, Black-tailed Godwit and Bar-tailed Godwit, and supports nationally important numbers of a further 18 species.

Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa. Jerry Cassidy
The Bay regularly supports in excess of 30,000 waterbirds from more than 30 species. The high concentrations and assemblages of waterbirds in Dublin Bay make the site particularly important in its own right and in the context of Irish estuaries; it is among the top 10 most important sites for wintering waterbirds in Ireland.

Furthermore the site is located in close proximity to other internationally important waterbird sites, namely Baldoyle Bay, Broadmeadow Estuary and Rogerstown Estuary in Dublin and the Murrough Wetland Complex further south in Wicklow. Anecdotal reports have suggested regular movements of waterbirds between these sites in winter, but until now, no efforts have been made to quantify the extent of these movements. 


  1. I would be very interested to hear your opinions (and the opinions of your readers) with regards to the proposals to build a very large cruise ship berth inside Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

    Although only limited information has been made available to the public, significant dredging will be required, and perhaps even drilling if there is granite beneath the silt on the sea bed. The proposal states that an “approach channel” of 1,200m and a “turning circle” of 500m in diameter will be dredged north of the harbour in Dublin Bay. A further 850m channel will be dredged from this turning area to the berth. I would really like to know what kind of impact this would have on wildlife, especially given that the bay is a Special Protection Area.

    A very short 2 week period was allocated for a public consultation (now finished) and most are still completely unaware of these plans. Many people have come together to oppose this plan with over 1800 signing a petition (

    If you have an opinion or any factual information about wildlife in the area that would help us oppose this plan it would be greatly appreciated! You can email it to or visit the Save Dun Laoghare website

    We’d love to hear from you!

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  3. Hi IrishBlogger,

    Thank you for getting in touch on this, and sorry for my delayed response. Yes, we were consulted about this around this time last year, and a response was sent to the environmental consultants responsible for the Ecological Impact Assessment. I believe that an application will be sent to An Bord Plenála in the near future. We will have a thorough look at the environmental assessments when they are available, and may opt to make a submission if it appears that there may be in impact on the SPA interests.

    Thanks again for bringing this up.

    All the best,