Baltic Beach Wrack – Conversion of a Nuisance To a Resource and Asset
CONTRA
 
PROGRAMME 2014-2020
priority
2 Natural resources
objective
2.1 Clear waters

CONTRA

The CONTRA project helped local authorities and businesses in coastal destinations that rely on beach tourism identify viable solutions for managing and recycling beach wrack whilst protecting the Baltic Sea.
Project summary

Wrack management for clean beaches

Beach wrack is organic material washed ashore, for example, torn off sea grass or brown algae. It can cover Baltic Sea beaches for weeks after storms, rotting and leaking nutrients back into the water. Managing beach wrack is an issue for local authorities and the tourism industry, in particular of the western and southern Baltic Sea. Coastal municipalities did not have helpful tools to deal with beach wrack and to treat it in a sustainable way as part of coastal water management.

 

Balancing opposing interests and identifying economic opportunities

Previous practices to collect beach wrack usually created a financial burden for local communities. The methods used to collect and dispose of beach wrack, were also often in direct conflict with measures to safeguard the environment. A fair and comprehensive evaluation of all environmental, social and economic aspects of beach wrack management was needed.

Budgets

CONTRA
in numbers
  • 2.57
    Million
    Total
  • 1.92
    Million
    Erdf
  • 0.08
    Million
    Eni + Russia
  • 0.00
    Million
    Norway

Achievements

New multi-discipline and transnational Beach Wrack Network established

CONTRA built a forum dedicated to the sustainable management of beach wrack in the Baltic Sea region, including collection and treatment, whilst protecting beaches as living, natural landscapes. Its cornerstone is the Beach Wrack Network. The members include local authority representatives, beach managers, landowners, coastal engineers, landscape historians, national political decision-makers, nature conservationists, students and scientists, industry representatives, resource managers, private enterprises, and representatives of the tourism industry. The focus of the network is to act as a support facility for policymakers, environmental groups, public authorities, and marine resource management companies on topics related to beach wrack as well as promote sustainable beach wrack management policies and operations in the region.

Solutions to use beach wrack in a sustainable way

In order to exploit the potential of beach wrack as a valuable resource for bio-based products or services and, at the same time, positively influence the reduction of eutrophication, the project partners implemented several case studies in countries with different management systems: at the islands of Rügen and Poel in Germany, Køge Municipality in Denmark, in Swedish Kalmar and Öland, and in the gulf of Gdansk in Poland. The German case studies demonstrated that beach wrack could be co-composted to produce soil improvement products, and it was suitable for the production of biochar. In the Polish case, beach wrack was treated in a reed bed system to be used as soil conditioner or fertilizer. These experiences collected across the Baltic Sea helped the partners check the applicability of solutions for local authorities and businesses in coastal destinations that rely on beach tourism.

Outputs

Baltic Beach Wrack Toolkit – Challenges for sustainable use and management

This toolkit presents options for recycling beach wrack as well as its business potential. It covers practical aspects of beach wrack management and provides guidance for local and regional decision-makers. It also serves as a decision aid to help practitioners convert current beach wrack management schemes into more sustainable solutions.

Beach wrack in a business environment

The report provides a comprehensive overview of challenges and current practices connected with beach wrack management. It targets policymakers, municipalities, waste management companies, researchers, and beach wrack entrepreneurs. The report explores new and innovative ways of creating environmental, social, and economic value through developed beach wrack practices.

Project Stories

Partners

University of Rostock

  • Town
    Rostock
  • Region
    Rostock, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
551,979.65
54.092444512.1286127

Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences

  • Town
    Sopot
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
229,300.00
54.4419090518.54309444570447

EUCC - Coastal Union Germany

  • Town
    Rostock-Warnemünde
  • Region
    Rostock, Kreisfreie Stadt
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
246,487.50
54.177903912.0812875

KS-VTCtech GmbH

  • Town
    Ganderkesee
  • Region
    Oldenburg, Landkreis
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
119,400.00
53.03449848.5451469

Association of Polish Communes Euroregion Baltic

  • Town
    Elbląg
  • Region
    Elbląski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
74,483.75
54.155870819.4044583

Linnaeus University

  • Town
    Kalmar
  • Region
    Kalmar län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
259,052.50
56.662882616.3662382

Estonian Ministry of Environment

  • Town
    Tallinn
  • Region
    Põhja-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
29,931.40
59.437215524.7453688

University of Tartu

  • Town
    Tartu
  • Region
    Lõuna-Eesti
  • Country
    Estonia
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
179,950.00
58.39564534999999526.630885501668523

Atlantic Branch of Shirshov Institute of Oceanology, RAS

  • Town
    Kaliningrad
  • Region
    Kaliningrad Oblast
  • Country
    Russian Federation
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
89,996.42
54.71012820.5105838

University of Southern Denmark

  • Town
    Odense
  • Region
    Fyn
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
175,292.00
55.399722510.3852104

Krinova AB

  • Town
    Kristianstad
  • Region
    Skåne län
  • Country
    Sweden
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
243,631.40
56.029377814.1566859

Municipality of Køge

  • Town
    Køge
  • Region
    Østsjælland
  • Country
    Denmark
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
116,191.25
55.456500912.1818964

Gdańsk University of Technology

  • Town
    Gdańsk
  • Region
    Trójmiejski
  • Country
    Poland
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
109,505.00
54.3611928518.62860883362069

Hanseatic Environment CAM GmbH

  • Town
    Sandhagen
  • Region
    Mecklenburgische Seenplatte
  • Country
    Germany
Approximate total partner budget in EUR
139,980.00
58.583398813.4306142