Waterfoot Marine Conservation Zone

Date published: 24 February 2017

The designation of Marine Conservation Zones (MCZs) safeguards vulnerable or unique marine species and habitats of national importance in the Northern Ireland inshore region based on an ecosystem approach. These MCZs fulfill the obligations on The Marine Act (Northern Ireland) 2013 (the "Act") to contribute to an ecologically coherent UK network of MPAs as well as wider biodiversity commitments at European and global level.


Area: 0.811km2
Location (centroid): 55° 3.630’ N 6° 2.750’ W
Date Classified: 12/12/2016

Waterfoot MCZ is located in a small embayment offshore from the village of Waterfoot (within the wider Red Bay area) on the east coast of County Antrim, Northern Ireland. The seabed in the MCZ encompasses mainly sand and gravel sediments.

Waterfoot MCZ has been designated for Seagrass bed (Zostera marina) on Subtidal (sublittoral) sand. Although Seagrass density is declining in UK waters, the subtidal bed in the MCZ may be the largest example in Northern Ireland and is considered to be in good condition.

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