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CONTRA: Conversion of a Nuisance to a Resource and Asset

Duration: 01/2019 - 06/2021

Treibsel is mostly organic material that washes ashore - for example, torn seaweed and brown algae. This often becomes a nuisance for coastal communities and beach goers. The coastal communities, especially in the tourist centers, are being put under great pressure to comply with the demands to get rid of the drift. However, current beach cleaning practices are costly to communities and often conflict with measures to protect the environment.

The aim of CONTRA (Conversion of a Nuisance to a Resource and Asset) is to collect and disseminate knowledge about the sustainable management of beach clearing of Treibsel. To this end, the ecological, social and economic effects of collection and reuse options are examined and assessed in six case studies. Possible uses of the Treibsel would be: as a fertilizer or soil improver, for rearing organic char, as an algae bio-cover for landfills, for coastal protection and dune formation, for biogas production and to improve water quality. The German pilot studies are the Baltic seaside resorts of Sellin and Breege-Juliusruh as well as the island of Poel, which are also associated project partners. In the project, a “tool kit” for management and recycling options is being developed, which ensures that all communities in the Baltic Sea region can reconcile the demands of tourists for clean beaches with environmental protection. An international network of stakeholders is intended to promote the exchange of knowledge and raise awareness among the communities.

The focus of the EUCC-D activities will be on educating the communities and local authorities for sustainable management of driftwood at the stands. Information materials should help to spread the important role of Treibsel in the ecosystem. In addition, socio-economic effects are examined and assessed.

The project is coordinated by the University of Rostock. In addition, authorities, companies, universities and NGOs from six countries (DK, DE, EE, PL, SE, RU) from the areas of marine systems, coastal tourism, sustainable development and administrative structures in the Baltic Sea region are involved.


Financed by: EU Interreg B Programm 2014-2020
Fonds für Regionale Entwicklung - EFRE