Flowering and first “visitors” on our floating wetlands

We have a frequent visitor on our island 🙂 Every morning the gray heron comes along. You can also observe how dragonflies, shrimp and fish use the floating wetlands as habitats. Macrophyte islands do not only offer a chance for nutrient removal but can also be a biodiversity hotspot and habitat.

For more information about the Interreg South Baltic project: http://www.balticlagoons.net/livelagoons

 

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First floating wetlands in a Baltic lagoon!

Together with our cooperation partner – the Federal State Institute of Agriculture and Fishery MV – we installed the first two floating islands in the aquaculture research station in Born at the Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain. The two floating wetlands, made out of stainless steel and reed stems, were planted with a variety of native emergent macrophytes: Typha latifolia, Schoenoplectus lacustris, Iris pseudacorus,  Bolboschoenus maritimus, Lythrum salicaria, Butomus umbellatus, Carex acutiformis and Juncus effesus. In this first year we want to find out which plants can adapt best to the special site conditions, grow well and remove most efficiently phosphorus and nitrogen from the eutrophicated waters. The islands are installed at the outlet of the aquaculture pond (sturgeon cultivation) and we will monitor the water quality as well as nutrient removal in the plant biomass. Besides fighting eutrohication, these floating wetlands create diverse habitats for microbes, birds and insects and can also be an aesthetic “eye-catcher” for residents and tourists in coastal regions once the flowering starts. We will keep you updated!

For more information: http://www.balticlagoons.net/livelagoons/

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Newspaper article and TV report on pilot installation for future beach in Nida, Lithuania

Curonian Spit National Park Administration (KNNP) started preparation works to open beach in the Curonian Lagoon, at Parnidis Bay, therefore tourists will have the possibility to swim not only at sea, but also in the lagoon. “Klaipėda University (KU) together with the KNNP Directorate started LiveLagoons project aimed to test pilot installations and apply so called ‘active’ or ‘living’ barrier units to improve water quality and create bathing conditions inside the South Baltic lagoons, where at normal conditions algal blooms and sediment resuspension prevent recreational bathing. The bottom of the lagoon was cleaned and special net is being installed between two piers, plants will be attached to its upper part to stop eutrophication processes. It is a pilot action to create bathing water spot in Nida, which is very popular resort and recreational area in Curonian Spit”, – says Aušra Feser, director of Curonian Spit National Park Administration.

Vice director of Neringa municipality Narūnas Lendraitis was pleased with this initiative and assured that the new beach will definitely be extremely popular as tourism specialists have repeatedly emphasized that the establishment of a recreational beach at the Curonian Lagoon would significantly prolong high season. “The bathing season at sea begins relatively late, thus clean and supervised spot in the very center of Nida will provide a true oasis for relaxation,” says A. Feser. According to her, the inhabitants of the peninsula still remember that there was a beach on the lagoon coast, Parnidis Bay, several decades ago. The main reason why nobody is using former beach area at the Parnidis bay these days is the deteriorating water of the Curonian Lagoon. It blooms in summer due organic particles and algae. Therefore, researchers have decided to take advantage of the global practice of various countries affected by water eutrophication and apply biotechnology. According to KU professor Dr. Artūras Razinkovas-Baziukas, big influence on the pollution of the lagoon is caused by nitrogen and phosphorus compounds in the water. It is these chemicals that lead to a very large amount of algae, other microorganisms, which makes the water unusable for bathing. Installed net with plants like reeds and basket willows’s roots absorb nitrogen from the water and are like living water treatment plants.

The project LiveLagoons actions are dedicated to form a kind of recreational lagoon: people will be able to bath and an ecological experiment will be implemented. In the autumn, the installation with the plants will be removed and data analyzed. The environmental experiment will be carried out not only in Nida, but also in the northern part of Juodkrantė. There, with the help of a similar biotechnology method, an attempt will be made to stop coastal erosion.

Article in Lithuanian
https://www.lzinios.lt/lzinios/Gimtasis-krastas/nidos-centre-naujas-papludimys/265818

Video on LRT channel (Lithuanian National Radio and Television)
https://www.lrt.lt/naujienos/gyvenimas/42/213635/nidoje-naujas-papludimys-kviecia-maudytis-isvalytose-kursiu-mariose

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Stakeholder workshop in Germany: How to improve the licensing process for mussel farms?

As part of the Baltic Blue Growth project, a stakeholder workshop focusing on the new draft for the mussel farming license guideline took place in Eckernförde, Germany, on the 26th of April 2018. The aim of the workshop was to examine how to optimize the licensing process for a mussel farm. Improving the effectiveness of legal rules and state regulations is a prerequisite for improving the mussel farming potential of the aquaculture sector. Representative of all involved state authorities of Schleswig-Holstein discussed how the permit process can be simplified and how to ensure the best possible cooperation between the licensing authorities.

On the basis of an imaginary mussel farm, the participants discussed the previous approval process and debated whether there is room for improvement. On the one hand, it is not possible to simplify or shorten the procedure without undermining the regulatory goals. On the other hand, everyone agreed that efficient cooperation between the various authorities plays an important role. An advantage in any case is the early involvement of the responsible authorities. An option to improve the permit procedure could be the set up of an online platform with all the relevant documents and information that would make the internal exchange of information between authorities and companies more transparent. The results of the workshop will be incorporated in the finalization of the approval guideline, which will be published as part of the BBG project.

More information: https://www.submariner-network.eu/projects/balticbluegrowth

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MORPHEUS project meeting in Essen, Germany

From 16th to 18th of April 2018, the MORPHEUS project partners met in Essen, Germany. At the meeting, the partners exchanged views on the current state of project activities and discussed initial results.

Water samples from local sewage treatment plants as well as in rivers in Sweden, Germany, Poland and Lithuania were analyzed for selected pharmaceuticals in order to estimate the concentration of trace substances in the southern Baltic Sea region. These results, in combination with data on regional prescriptions and sales volumes of drugs, should serve to understand the specific pathways and quantities of pharmaceutical trace substances and to derive appropriate measures for their reduction. This information together with an assessments of available micropollutant retention technologies will assist operators ofsewage treatment plants and state authorities with regard to future implementations of appropriate purification technologies.

As part of the project meeting, the participants visited sewage treatment plants in Dülmen and Bad Sassendorf and learned more about the use of activated carbon powder or ozone as the fourth purification stage.

More information: www.morpheus-project.eu

Partner meeting BONUS OPTIMUS

Partners from the BONUS OPTIMUS project attended a project meeting the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde from the 10th – 12th of April, presenting their newest results on mussel farming to combat eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.

The focus was this time on case studies from Denmark, Sweden and Germany. Besides results on growth performances, filtering capacity or the utilization of mussels, participants discussed how suitable site selection criteria for mussel farming can be established. An essential point is that local habitants as well as tourists need to accept and endorse mussel farms in their regions. To investigate this aspect further, EUCC-D in cooperation with Aarhus University (Denmark) will carry out a survey at the Hagensche Wiek (Rügen Island) where the German mussel farm was installed in 2017.

In addition to the scientific exchange, the project meetings served as a discussion opportunity with experts from regional, national and international ministries, state authorities and research institutions.

More information: www.bonus-optimus.eu

 

 

Successful project completion of BONUS BaltCoast

The three-year research project BONUS BaltCoast successfully finished with a workshop at the “European Coastal Lagoons Symposium” in Athens on the 20th of March 2018. At the workshop the main project results were presented and with the audience it was discussed how future coastal management can look like, what kind of cooperation is necessary and which research questions have remained open so far.All case studies, from bathing water quality in Lithuania, mussel cultivation in Germany to fisheries management in Denmark, used the System Approach Framework (SAF).

All project results can be found at www.baltcoast.net.