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Record what's in your favourite Rockpool


Find your favorite rockpool and record what’s in it 4 times per year.


To identify changes in marine species in your rockpool by season and over time.

Our Goal?

To monitor changes in the occurrence of marine species linked to season, climate change and water quality.


Anyone who has an interest in monitoring their local shore, improving their marine species identification skills and contributing to our knowledge of Ireland’s coastal biodiversity.


Survey your rockpool once in Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Take photos of as many different marine plants or animals from your favourite Rockpool and submit them by clicking HERE. You can even submit photos of species you can’t identify! Just select the ‘species unidentified’ box when you submit your photo and we will do the identifying for you! Don’t forget to check under rocks, beneath seaweed and in cracks and crevices for marine species.

Please include a photo of your rockpool each time – showing us the whole of your rockpool from above – so we can see how great it is! The ideal time to do an Adopt-a-Rockpool survey is once your rockpool is exposed by the falling tide but aim to be leaving the shore before the tide turns.

You can submit multiple species from the same location using our submission form. Revisit the same shore again and again, and at different times of year, to see if you can add additional species to the list.

Photo hints:

  • Get as close as you can
  • Make sure your photo is in focus and well lit
  • Take a photo of enough of the animal or plant to enable us identify it
  • Make sure it is clean of debris and sand.

Some example species record shots are shown below.

Image Credits: Flat Periwinkles – Dave Wall; Serrated Wrack – Stemonitis/Wikimedia Commons; Barnacles – Mo Riza/Flickr; Striped Venus – Hans Hillewaert/Wikimedia Commons


Purchase our marine species swatches from our online shop, use one of the suggested seashore identifications guides on our resources page, keep an eye on our events and workshops pages for a training course near you, or complete our FREE online marine citizen science course.


  • Learn how to recognise and record Irish coastal and intertidal species.
  • Join a growing team of Citizen Science recorders helping to monitor Ireland’s coastal biodiversity.
  • Use our Facebook Page to seek help with identifications and keep in touch with Explore Your Shore!
  • Contribute to our knowledge of Ireland’s marine biodiversity.

What Happens to Your Records?

All records submitted are checked by an expert to see that the species has been correctly identified and that the position information is correct. Then it is uploaded to the Explore Your Shore! Data Set on Biodiversity Maps as Open Access data which anyone can download.

Validated records are also shared on the European Ocean Biodiversity Information System and on the Global Biodiversity Information Facility. Data contributed to Explore Your Shore! also forms part of UNESCO monitoring of Essential Ocean Variables.

Data Access

Access project data at


All Explore Your Shore! data is contributed thanks to the time and effort of our network of volunteer Citizen Scientists.

Safety on the Shore

  • Before doing an Adopt-a-Rockpool survey check the weather forecast and the tides.
  • Be aware of the dangers of an incoming tide and becoming trapped or cut off by the tide. Aim to start your survey 1 – 2 hours before low water and be off the shore before the tide changes.
  • Tell somebody where you are going and what time you expect to be back.
  • Dress appropriately for the weather and wear appropriate footwear for the ground you will be walking.
  • Stay clear of the base of cliffs or steep dunes as there is a danger of falling rocks or being buried by sand or cliff material.
  • Bring a fully charged mobile phone with you in case you need to call for help. If you do need to call for help, dial 999 or 112 and ask for the Coastguard.