Blackwater, Crouch, Roach and Colne Estuaries

Site overview: This site is located on the Essex coast and includes the area where the estuary mouth joins the North Sea. This is one of the largest inshore Marine Conservation Zones (MCZ), a type of Marine Protected Area, covering an area of 284 km2. This site is made up of saltmarshes and mudflats and is home to the native oyster. Sea snails, crabs and sea urchins live amongst the oyster beds.

Designation Status
Last Updated
6 June 2017
MPA Type
Marine Conservation Zone
MPA Purpose
to protect nationally important marine wildlife, habitats, geology and geomorphology


51° 42' 58" North,
0° 58' 39" East

Surface Area

284.40 km2
(109.81 mi.2 )


1,366.36 km
(849.01 mi.)

Iconic features protected by this site