The Baltic Sea is one of the most intensely exploited seas of the world. A balance between exploitation and protection on the basis of scientific expertise is needed to enable a sustainable use without the destruction of valuable system services.This is the area of conflict where the BaltCoast project and its interdisciplinary system approach is settled. It aims at creating user-friendly methods and tools of practical relevance which allow a systematic input of scientific findings and political processes into the complex management of coastal zones.New problems, challenges and activities in the coastal zone shall be dealt with in a more interdisciplinary way than before. This system approach will be tested in different regions concerning various topics and processes relevant for management. All case studies will run through the complete system approach in order to test and further develop its suitability as a tool for the implementation of national and international coastal and marine policy. The German case study will be positioned at the Oder Lagoon and will deal with the establishment of mussel farms for an improvement of water transparency as well as the fixation and recovery of nutrients.
It is coordinated by the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research Warnemünde (Prof. Dr. Gerald Schernewski, working group „Coastal and Marine Management“, department Biological Oceanography.Major objectives are:
a) to further‐develop a Systems Approach Framework (SAF) for science and policyintegration in the coastal zone into an applicable, user‐friendly tool with high practical relevance that allows users to manage with multiple, complex, and diverseissues in the coastal zone and integration of spatial information and concerns;
b) to tackle major thematic coastal issues that require a comprehensive interdisciplinary approach, in a manner that is structured, transparent and provides aframework to deal with complex issues and applicable for evaluating solutions withend‐users;
c) to further‐develop and apply an indicator‐based concept that allows users to measure the sustainability and the success of SAF, ICZM and MSP, as well as aconcept to integrate the SAF into existing policy frameworks (e.g. EU Strategy for theBaltic Sea Region, EU Integrated Maritime Policy, EU Marine Strategy FrameworkDirective (MSFD), Water Framework Directive (WFD), Natura 2000 as well as theBaltic Sea Action Plan);
d) to carry out intensive SAF training and education for academics and professionals in order to increase the capacity to deal with complex coastal issues in a systematicway;
e) to strengthen and link existing Baltic ICM activities and initiatives into a lasting Baltic coastal management competence network.