Images and ecological data on the phytoplankton of the Irish Sea are being collected as part of the routine biomonitoring programme funded by the UK Environment Agency and based at the Port Erin Marine Laboratory. The images include pictures of species preserved using the techniques most widely used in routine phytoplankton monitoring - such as preservation in Lugol's solution, fixation in formaldehyde, or living material. This work is part of a long term monitoring program that extends for almost 100 years and iuncludes environmental data and nutrient status. Such long term records provide the historical perspective that is essential in the proper management of our natural resources. This image from the now closed Port Erin Marine Laboratory by D. J. Patterson. Image copyright: D. J. Patterson, used under license to MBL (micro*scope).