This section of the website will be updated as the project evolves and as project reports are uploaded.

Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP) is a device (pictured below) measuring water current rates.










Picture of an ADCP device (left) and a device placed in a trawl resistant frame (right)

Appropriate Assessment (AA) is carried out to determine whether the project may affect a Natura 2000 site such as a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) or Special Protection Area (SPA) that are classified under the Birds Directive and Habitats Directive. A Natura Impact Assessment (NIS) is the output of an AA. (Refer to separate glossary item on Natura Impact Assessment (NIS) for further information).

Bathing Water Directive: European legislation that aims to ensure clean and healthy bathing water is available to the public. Each local authority is responsible for the management of bathing water quality in their area and must carry out tests to ensure the water is safe for use and make the results available to the public.

Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) aims to protect all wild bird species naturally occurring in the European Union. Since the habitat loss and degradation are the most serious threats to the conservation of wild birds, the Directive places great emphasis on the protection of the habitats for endangered as well as migratory species listed in Annex I. This is done through the establishment of a coherent network of Special Protection Areas (SPAs) comprising all the most suitable territories for these species. Since 1994 all SPAs form an integrated part of the Natura 2000 ecological network. (Refer to separate glossary item on Special Protection Areas for further information).

For more information visit the European Commission – Environment page here

Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD): is a measure of the potential oxygen consumption of decaying organic matter in water. It is a widely used measure of organic pollution in rivers and in effluents discharged to water.

Cetacean species includes the marine mammals commonly known as whales, dolphins and porpoises.

Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO): is the process used to compulsorily acquire land required for a development.

C-pod is a passive acoustic monitoring instrument (pictured below) that can detect toothed whales, dolphins and porpoises by identifying the echo-location sounds that they produce.




Picture of a C-pod instrument

Drainage network: The drainage system that transports wastewater to a treatment plant before it is discharged as clean treated effluent into rivers or seas.

Drogue is a cone shaped looking device and its general use is to produce information about currents at different stages of the tide.

Dye (in the context of the marine tide and current surveys for GDD) is a fluorescent substance commonly used as a tracer in marine and environmental research, for example, to study currents or to assess the effects of discharge coming from Wastewater Treatment Plants (WwTPs).





Picture of a trace dye survey that took place on 26th July 2012 as part of the GDD project. The dye can be seen as the red/pink colour in the sea


Echolocation – Marine mammals use sound to help them to find and capture their food and do this by producing sounds that are reflected back to them when they strike an object – this is called echolocation and it is important for marine mammals as it helps them especially to find their food at night or when water conditions are dark and difficult for them to see in.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) is a report that must contain detailed analysis of a project’s impacts on the existing environment and include information to allow a decision on whether consent should be given to the project.

Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is an assessment of potential effects on the environment that may occur as a result of a project.

EU Water Framework Directive (WFD): In response to the increasing threat of pollution and the increasing demand from the public for cleaner rivers, lakes and beaches, the EU has developed the Water Framework Directive (WFD). This Directive is unique in that, for the first time, it establishes a framework for the protection of all waters including rivers, lakes, estuaries, coastal waters and groundwater, and their dependent wildlife/habitats under one piece of environmental legislation.

Specifically the WFD aims to:
•    protect/enhance all waters (surface, ground and coastal waters)
•    achieve “good status” for all waters by December 2015
•    manage water bodies based on river basins (or catchments)
•    involve the public
•    streamline legislation

For more information visit:

You can download the Water Framework Directive (The EU Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC) here.

Foreshore: The foreshore is the seabed and shore below the line of high water of ordinary or medium tides and extends outwards to the limit of twelve nautical miles (approximately 22.24 kilometres)

Greater Dublin Area (GDA): GDA is the term used to describe the area occupied by the four local authorities in the former Dublin City and County (Dublin City Council, Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council, Fingal County Council and South Dublin County Council) as well as parts of Meath, Kildare and Wicklow County Councils.

Habitats Directive (together with the Birds Directive) forms the backbone of European nature protection legislation.. The Directive protects over 1000 animal and plant species and over 200 habitat types such as forests, meadows, wetlands and similar, which are of European importance.  (Refer to separate glossary item on the Birds Directive for further information).

For more information visit the European Commission – Environment page here

Harbour Porpoises (Phocoena phocoena) are small marine mammals, approximately 1.4 to 1.9 m long when they fully grown. The Harbour Porpoise is one of six species of porpoise, closely related to whales and dolphins (often mistaken with dolphins). They live near coastal areas or in river estuaries, hence the name “harbour”. According to National Parks and Wildlife Services (NPWS) the Harbour Porpoise is the smallest cetacean found in Irish waters.

For more information visit the NPWS website here


Picture of a Harbour Porpoise (Photo by Irish Whale and Dolphin Group/NPWS)


Hydrodynamic modelling is a tool that is used to describe or represent the movement of water. In the case of the GDD project, this refers to the movement of sea water in its coastal environment.

JAWS (Job Access With Speech) is a computer screen reader program for Microsoft Windows that allows blind and visually impaired users to read the screen either with a text-to-speech output or by a Refreshable Braille display.

Marine Ground Investigations will include the collection of sediment and
bedrock samples. This is necessary to better understand the sea bed and
sediments in the area of the proposed pipeline and outfall.

Natura 2000 is a European network of important ecological sites established under the 1992 Habitats Directive.  The aim of the network is to assure the long-term survival of Europe’s most valuable and threatened species and habitats. It is comprised of Special Areas of Conservation (SAC) designated by Member States under the Habitats Directive, Special Protection Areas (SPAs) which they designate under the 1979 Birds Directive. European offshore marine sites (EOMS) and Ramsar sites are also included in this network.  (Refer to separate glossary items on Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), Special Protection Areas (SPAs), Habitats Directive and Birds Directive for further information).

For more information on Natura 2000 visit the European Commission – Environment page here

Natura Impact Statement (NIS): report that contains an examination of the possible impacts of a project on Natura 2000 sites that allow a decision to be made on whether consent should be given to the project. Natura 2000 sites comprise Special Areas of Conservation and Special Protection Areas classified under the Birds Directive and the Habitats Directive.  The NIS is the output of an Appropriate Assessment (AA). (Refer to seperate glossary item on Appropriate Assessment (AA)).

Neap tides occur twice a month (first and third quarter moons) with less range than normal.

Passive Acoustic Monitoring (PAM) in marine research refers to the use of underwater microphones (hydrophones) to detect, monitor and also localise vocalising marine mammals. This method is not invasive and does not put noise into the environment.

Regional Planning Guidelines: The 2000 Planning and Sustainable Development Act requires that all Regional Authorities shall at the direction of the Minister make Regional Planning Guidelines. There are 8 Regional Authorities in Ireland, which were set up in 1994 under the Local Government Act 1991 (Regional Authorities) Establishment Order 1993.

Special Area of Conservation (SAC):  is a wildlife area considered to be important on a European level in addition to an Irish level. SACs are protected under the European Communities (Natural Habitats) Regulations and aim to protect Europe’s best examples of wildlife and their habitats.  cSAC: A small “c” before the “SAC” stands for “candidate” meaning that the site has been designated by a Member State to become an SAC and is immediately afforded protection.

Shellfish Directive (The Shellfish Waters Directive): European legislation that aims to protect waters where shellfish (e.g. oysters, cockles, mussels, scallops), are found so that they can live healthily and grow. Each European Member State must designate such waters so that the shellfish are protected and the water has to comply, with the water quality requirements for such waters.

Statutory public consultation: is run in accordance with legal requirements and by the relevant authorities in advance of them making decisions for the project to proceed. Non-statutory public consultation is consultation that is not required by law but is undertaken to provide opportunities for the public to inform the development of the project before a planning application is made.

Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA): refers to a systematic approach for evaluating the environmental consequences of a proposed policy, plan or programme. It is required in order to ensure such consequences are fully included and appropriately addressed at the earliest possible stage of decision-making on par with social, environmental, economic and technical considerations.

Special Protection Area (SPA) is a designation under the Birds Directive (2009/147/EC) aiming the protection of habitats for endangers as well as migratory species.  Together with Special Areas of Conservation (SAC), the SPA forms a network across the EU called NATURA 2000.

Spring tides occur during either full moon or new moon phase, resulting in higher high tides and lower low tides.

Sustainable Drainage System (SuDS): is designed to reduce the potential impact of new and existing developments with respect to surface water drainage discharges.

Total suspended solids:  is a water quality measurement, usually abbreviated to TSS, and refers to the amount of solid material floating or suspended in a water sample.

Turbidity is a type of water quality measurement and relates to its clarity. In natural environments water contains suspended solids such as soil particles, algae, plankton, microbes or other substances which influence the degree of its clarity.

Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive: is European legislation that aims to protect the quality of the environment from wastewater coming from domestic sources, and certain industrial sectors.  The Directive sets out four main principles for management of the wastewater which are: planning; regulation; monitoring; and information and reporting.

Wastewater: Wastewater is any water whose quality has been adversely affected by human activity or industry. It can be liquid waste discharged by domestic residences, commercial properties, industry, or agriculture and can it contain of a wide range of contaminants.

Wastewater Drainage Network: is a system that transports wastewater to a treatment plant before it is treated and discharged to our rivers or seas.

Wastewater Treatment and Wastewater Treatment Plant: Sewage treatment or domestic wastewater treatment is the process of removing contaminants from wastewater and sewage from homes and businesses.

The process of wastewater treatment is to remove physical, chemical, and biological contaminants. The objective of undertaking this treatment is to produce an environmentally safe fluid waste stream or sludge that is suitable for disposal or reuse (usually in the form of fertiliser).

The following are the main phases of treatment undertaken in wastewater plants:

  • Primary treatment consists of temporarily holding the sewage in a tank where heavy solids can settle to the bottom while oil, grease, and lighter solids float to the surface. The settled and floating materials are removed and the remaining liquid may be discharged or subjected to secondary treatment.
  • Secondary treatment removes dissolved and suspended biological matter. Secondary treatment is typically performed by indigenous, water-borne micro-organisms in a managed habitat. Secondary treatment may require a separation process to remove the micro-organisms from the treated water prior to discharge or tertiary treatment.
  • Tertiary treatment may be needed in certain circumstances where the sensitivity of the receiving environment requires it.

The graphic below demonstrates how a modern wastewater treatment system process works.

Water Services Investment Programme (WSIP): The Water Services Investment Programme relates to the provision of major water and wastewater schemes (projects over 1 million euro) to meet key environmental and economic objectives. It is operated as a rolling three year programme, run by the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government.