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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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.

BONUS BaltCoast with future-oriented workshop in Athens

As part of this year’s European Coastal Lagoons Symposium, from 20.-23. March 2018 in Athens, numerous results from the project BONUS BaltCoast will be presented and a future-oriented workshop will be held. All case studies, from bathing water quality in Lithuania, mussel cultivation in Germany to fisheries management in Denmark, used the System Approach Framework (SAF), which is the core of the three-year research project that is now coming to an end.

Furthermore a public workshop will discuss how future coastal management can look like, what kind of cooperation is necessary and which research questions have remained open so far. In addition to debating future financing options, it will also be discussed how the tools developed in the BONUS BaltCoast project can be implemented in future coastal management.

The workshop will take place on the 20th of March 2018, 5-7 pm and will be moderated by Prof. Dr. Gerald Schernewski.

More information about the workshop: http://eurolag8.org/index.php/the-conference/workshops, and the conference program: http://eurolag8.org/images/EUROLAG8_programme_20_2_2018.pdf

More information about the project: www.baltcoast.net

baltcoast              Logo_ bonus_medium   European_Union

BONUS BALTCOAST project has received funding from BONUS (Art 185), funded jointly by the EU and Baltic Sea national funding institutions.

The 14th AZTI´s SUMMER SCHOOL

The Water Framework Directive implementation: is it possible to achieve good ecological status in European waters, from the lessons learnt?
  • Venue: Aquarium. Donostia – San Sebastián (Spain)
  • Date: 6 – 8 June 2017
  • Organizer: AZTI and EEAcademy
  • Language: English
  • Go to registration form HERE
  • Go to programme HERE
  • Go to poster submission HERE

The summer school will be held from 6th to 8th June 2017 (coinciding with the week of the Oceans’ Day on 8th June), at Aquarium of San Sebastian (Spain). AZTI is the hosting organization, but also the school is included under the EEAcademy umbrella, from the European Environment Agency. This is the 14th AZTI’s Summer School.

After the Water Framework Directive (WFD, 2000/60/EC), the European Member States should have achieved good ecological status in all surface waters (lakes, rivers, transitional waters and coasts) by 2015. However, a high percentage of the European water bodies remain still in an ecological status lower than good.

More information

Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters

Source: The New York Times

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A photo collage of plastic fragments found in the Arctic Ocean by the research team. A study published Wednesday shows a major ocean current is carrying trillions of bits of plastic from the North Atlantic to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there. Credit Andres Cozar

The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic.

In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of Cádiz in Spain and several other institutions show that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic, mainly from the North Atlantic, to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there — in surface waters, in sea ice and possibly on the ocean floor.

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Incited Wars Among the Classic Maya- A new study of the relationship between climate change and clashes among the Classic Maya explicitly links temperature increases with growing conflicts

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Does a warming world beget more wars? A new study that investigates the relationship between climate change and clashes among the Classic Maya believes so, drawing an explicit link between temperature increases and growing conflicts. The study, published in Quaternary Science Reviews, examined about 500 years of Maya history, from 363 to 888 AD. This is the so-called Classic period in which the Mesoamerican civilization boomed, with its people constructing extensive cities and massive pyramids, as well as developing one of the earliest writing systems in the Americas. Indeed, the Maya began a tradition of recording historical events on stone monuments.  
 
The researchers cataloged inscriptions on monuments related to violent struggles and compiled temperature and rainfall records for the regions inhabited during the Classic period: the lowlands of the Yucatán Peninsula, which includes parts of southern Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize. A total of 144 unique conflicts emerged from inscriptions on monuments from more than 30 major Maya centers. The research team then compared conflict records to palaeoclimate data, and the correspondence was impressive. The change in conflict levels between 350 and 900 AD was considerable. The number of conflicts increased from 0 to 3 every 25 years in the first two centuries to 24 conflicts every 25 years near the end of the period. They noted the exacerbation of conflicts could not be explained by change in the amount of rainfall. It was instead associated with an increase in summer temperature.
 
Experts think that there are two potential mechanisms by which increases in temperature can lead to greater conflict. One is psychological — when temperatures rise, tempers shorten. Several studies suggest it is possible that increased average summer temperatures made the Classic Maya more bellicose. The other mechanism, is economic, and involves the staple crop for the Classic Maya: maize. Throughout the Classic period, average temperature fluctuated between 82.4 degrees Fahrenheit (28 degrees Celsius) and 84.2°F (29°C). During periods when the temperature was around 82.4°F (28°C) or less, maize yields were reasonably stable, with little or no food shortage and little conflict. But as temperature continued to rise and the region experienced days at or above 86°F (30°C), crop shortfalls occurred frequently. Large-scale deforestation throughout the Classic period caused by urban expansion worsened the effect, increasing regional temperatures by reducing soil moisture availability. The result was food shortage, which led to spiking levels of conflict. With declining maize yields, a ruler could not have relied on opulent festivals or fed large labor forces needed to build impressive monuments. Consequently, going to war more often would have been an effective tactic to maintain status, prestige, and power. Eventually, the growth in conflict became explosive.
 
The researchers believe the findings have implications for the debate about contemporary climate change. Concern is growing that climate change effects would increase violence within and between human societies.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has cautioned that climate change will exacerbate conflict at a range of scales, from inter-personal violence to civil war, while the US Department of Defense has classified climate change as a threat multiplier, suggesting that it could lead to political and social unrest and increased terrorism.  “
 
Further Information
 
Increasing temperature exacerbated Classic Maya conflict over the long term
 
Climate Change Incited Wars Among the Classic Maya