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Living coast in Nya Åland and Åland's radio

Last Tuesday, doc Linda Kumblad and doc Emil Rydin, project managers for Living Coast, participated on the Coastal Day 2018, which was held on Åland. In connection with the seminar, they participated in an interview in Åland´s radio and talked about the implemented measures and its results. Emil and Linda say that the secret to the successful restauration is a holistic approach to the causes of eutrophication. You can also read about the project in Nya Åland.

The Coastal Day 2018 was organized by the government of Åland with politicians, officials and the public invited. At the seminar, Emil and Linda presented the measures carried out within the project and its results.

The project Living coast started in 2011 and is carried out in the Björnö bay in Stockholm archipelago. At the start of the project, the bay was heavily eutrophicated with high prevalence of anoxic bottoms. And that's precisely why it was chosen for the project. The Björnö bay can be compared to a "Baltic Sea in miniature" as it also has a low water exchange with the adjacent bay - just as the Baltic Sea has a low water exchange with the North Sea. The goal of the project is to show that it is possible to recover a good environment in eutrophic bays, that is with clear water, abundant flora and fauna, a natural fishing community and oxygenated bottoms with benthic animal life. 

In an article in New Åland (only in Swedish), published last Tuesday, the restoration project is described as a success story. But Linda and Emil emphasize that there are no shortcuts - it is necessary to take an overall approach regarding the causes of eutrophication. The most important measure is to reduce ongoing nutrient emissions. Three sources of eutrophication were identified in the Björnö bay case: agriculture, nearby horse farms and private sewages. Measures were implemented for each source. But to give nature a chance of recovery, “the sins of the past” in the Björnö bay had to be tackled. “The sins of the past” refers to phosphorus discharges from previous years, stored in the sediments and leaching back into the water when the bottoms becomes anoxic. Aluminium robustly binds phosphorus in the bottoms and prevents it from leaching back into the water again. With aluminum treatment, the project has succeeded in halving the phosphorus content in the bay´s water.

The article concludes that it is possible to improve the water quality in eutrophic bays with a purposeful, holistic approach. But, in order for more restauration projects like this to be carried out there is a need for financial support and knowledge, and for that it takes an active political strategy. 

Click here to listen to the interview with Emil and Linda in Åland´s radio (only in Swedish).