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Dublin Bay's Natural Wonders to be Set in Context by Expert Richard Nairn  

20th April 2021
Dublin and its Bay – national capital, port city, natural wonder, internationally designated biosphere, maritime highway, nautical playground, cultural icon - and much else.
Dublin and its Bay – national capital, port city, natural wonder, internationally designated biosphere, maritime highway, nautical playground, cultural icon - and much else.  

Dublin Bay Old Gaffers Association invites you to join their next Zoom session on Dublin Bay Nature, which will be given by Richard Nairn on Thursday, 22nd April at 20:00 hrs.

Dublin Bay is one of the most intensively studied coastal areas in Ireland, and much is known about its marine life, birds and mammals, their numerous presence made all the more remarkable as it is an integral part of the life and environment of a busy city port.

The tide fills the bay twice a day, refreshing the shore and bringing seawater into contact with fresh water from the land. Some of the best examples of sand flats, dunes, saltmarsh, rocky shores, cliffs, islands and offshore sandbanks - all special European habitats - are found in Dublin Bay.

The North Bull Island is among the best surviving sand dune-saltmarsh systems in the country. This illustrated talk will highlight the most interesting areas, and summarise some recent research on nature in the Bay.

DBOGA Fundraising for Howth RNLI

Pre-Covid, we listened to talks together at Poolbeg while passing the Yellow Welly around for your €5 donaCon. In Zoom Land we can't
 do that but the RNLI urgently needs funds. Please click on: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/DBOGAHowthLifeboat to dob your €5 in. We are now well on the way to our target of €5,000. Thank you!

Richard Nairn

Richard Nairn is an ecologist and writer who has published five books and was a joint author of Dublin Bay: Nature and History (Collins 2017). He has done extensive monitoring of birds in the Bay and has provided environmental services to Dublin Port Company for over a decade. He has swum, fished, sailed and walked throughout Dublin Bay since the 1960s.

The details of this Zoom meeting are:

  • Topic: Richard Nairn Talk
  • 
Time: April 22nd 2021, at 20.00hrs
  • Link to join the meeCng: hcps://us02web.zoom.us/j/87869651645
  • Meeting ID: 878 6965 1645

Richard Nairn – Dublin Bay devotee and Irish national ecological guide and guardianRichard Nairn – Dublin Bay devotee and Irish national ecological guide and guardian

Published in Dublin Bay
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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