UK regions & sites
Voting for all sites closed on 8 May 2012
MCS recommended sites in Northern Ireland
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A stunning seagrass meadow
The Arches, North Wall, Rathlin Island
Spectacular underwater cliffs and caves
Damicornis Bay, Rathlin Island
Reef and boulders with diverse sponges
Lochgarry wreck, Rathlin Island
A spectacular wreck is a haven for rare and vulnerable sea life
A fragile seabed in need of protection
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Northern Ireland's rugged coast includes a number of important habitats including exposed rocky cliffs, estuaries and sheltered bays. Below the waterline, the craggy cliffs of Rathlin Island are covered with a vast carpet of sponges, and beneath the calm waters of Strangford Lough there are hidden seagrass meadows and remnants of horse mussel beds (since scallop dredging has been banned) that teem with life.