Marine Environment Division's main areas of work are detailed under the following themes:
- bathing waters
- historic environment
- licensing - marine and wildlife
- marine litter
- marine Plan for Northern Ireland
- marine strategy and water framework directives
- shellfish waters
The Department is also responsible for the Coastal Community Fund, which is administered by the Big Lottery Fund. You can view the latest progress report on the fund in the Publications section of this website.
Why protect the coast and marine area?
At 650km in length, the coast of Northern Ireland is relatively short - yet it supports an exceptional diversity of marine wildlife and their habitats. The coast, and the seas around it, include highly productive and biologically diverse ecosystems, with features which serve as critical natural defences against storms, floods and erosion. A number of species and habitats are recognised as internationally important and the majority of the coastline is protected for its special interest.
This dynamic area supports tourism, agriculture, recreation, aquaculture, inshore fisheries, industry, commercial harbours and quays, as well as being used for waste disposal and power generation.
In 2011, the Department published the NI State of the Seas report, which provided an assessment of the marine area, structured around the requirements of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive.
For any additional information, please contact Marine Environment Division.
To report an urgent water pollution incident telephone 0800 80 70 60 or email the Emergency Water Pollution Hotline.