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
Video on LRT channel (Lithuanian National Radio and Television)