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Integrated Management and Monitoring of Estuarine and Coastal Ecosystems (IMMERSE), was a research project aimed at informing an Integrated Environmental Management and Monitoring system (EMMS) for Irish estuarine and coastal ecosystems. Funded by the Irish Environmental Protection Agency’s Research Programme, the methodology for the EMMS was made applicable to a national scale, and aligned with the requirements of the Water Framework, Marine Strategy Framework, Habitats, Birds and Floods Directives. IMMERSE defined and critically reviewed ‘integration’ as an environmental planning concept, establishing the need for, and benefits of, integration within estuarine and coastal management.

​The project advances integration as an ambitious concept in terms of delivering sustainable environmental management and monitoring in estuarine and coastal ecosystems where currently a sectoral approach is the normal process. Nonetheless, IMMERSE illustrated how principles that have been tested for management rigour, based on sound environmental philosophies, ensure adaptability and continual improvement have the potential to guide the development of a proposed framework of EMMS. The legislative and regulatory requirements for estuarine and coastal management are also reviewed by IMMERSE, where current governance arrangements in Ireland are appraised against the set of proposed principles of IEM.


As part of the IMMERSE project, a range of working papers were constructed and can be downloaded by clicking on the respective links below. Some of the papers include full and summary reports of each phase of the project, with Working Paper 6 presenting the conclusions and recommendations that the study reached.

  • Working Paper 1 - Integrated Environmental Management: A Review of the Concept – Full  Report / Summary Report

  • Working Paper 2 - Policy review and matrix of regulatory compliance (February 2015) – Full Report / Summary Report

  • Working Paper 3 - Development of the IMMERSE proposed framework of EMMS (March 2015) - Full Report

  • Working Paper 4 - The Shannon Estuary – A Case Study (Nov 2015) – Full Report / Summary Report

  • Working Paper 5 - Dublin Bay – A Case Study (Jan 2016) – Full Report / Summary Report

  • Working Paper 6 - Towards the integrated management of Irish estuaries and coasts (Dec 2016) – Full Report


​For more information on IMMERSE, please contact Dr. Christina Kelly -

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