Dinner Debate: Future of green technologies for blue growth

A joint dinner in Rostock on the 13th of November 2018 allowed scientists from the Morpheus and LiveLagoons project to debate the future of green technologies for blue growth. Although the two projects from the Interreg South Baltic Programme have different research questions and aims (pharmaceuticals / eutrophication) the participants identified a variety of overlapping issues, such as the general challenge of setting up a water quality monitoring program that covers the right spatial and temporal scales, the question what to do with the residues of water treatment (e.g. biochar, harvested macrophytes) or the potential of constructed wetlands for wastewater treatment.

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LiveLagoons at EUROPARC 2018 conference in Scotland

The LiveLagoons project was presented at the biggest protected areas professionals’ event in Europe! The annual EUROPARC federation conference this year was organized in the Cairngorms National Park in Scotland. More than 600 participants from 32 countries came together to discuss topics dealing with natural heritage and cultural identity, citizens science programs, nature education or ‘green growth’ in protected areas.

There was the possibility to represent and discuss LiveLagoons project activities during the individual meetings but the best opportunity for this task was the ‘Marketplace’, where the Curonian National Park – one of the project partners – had their own stand. Floating wetlands appeared interesting and innovative to a variety of stakeholders. They wanted to know more about installation possibilities, technical specifications, laws and regulations, selected plants and project results. Plenty of things to discuss with us!


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


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

Video on LRT channel (Lithuanian National Radio and Television)



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

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