The LiveLagoons project aims at improving the water quality in eutrophicated lagoons in the South Baltic by the use of innovative floating wetlands for nutrient removal.

There are many attempts to use mussels or algae cultivation for nutrient removal in the South Baltic area. However, due to low market value of cultivated products, these developments typically end in the initial stage of demonstration studies and are neither sustainable, nor replicated in other than pilot areas. On the other hand there are commercial applications called 'living barriers' (e.g. BioHaven®, Biomatrix®, AquaGreen® or Beemats®) aimed at both restoration and rehabilitation of coastal habitats and local enhancement of water quality by nutrient absorption and removal. These ‘living barriers’ are floating islands planted with native emergent macrophytes such as Phragmites australis (common reed), Carex acutiformis (pond sedges) or Juncus effesus (common rush). The target is 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. Coastal municipalities are supported by our project experts to find the best installation sites for the floating wetlands in order to maximize nutrient removal, gain additional aesthetics benefits to boost tourism and still prevent spatial conflicts of use. Cross-border co-operation along the South Baltic Coast will allow us to test both technological and socio-economical methodologies in different environments (installation sites: Szczecin lagoon, Curonian lagoon, Darss-Zingst Bodden Chain).

We also plan to link these applications to nutrient quota trading - mechanism for connecting effective nutrient abatement measures with voluntary financiers willing to acquire nutrient offset, relevant for the small coastal communities (especially in cross-border lagoons) pressed for the increased removal of nutrients through the municipal wastewater treatment plants, which are facing operational problems due to sharp fluctuations of population (a tenfold increase during the summer season). Our envisaged results include small scale local improvement of water quality, but, most importantly, increased awareness of local stakeholders interested in water quality and tourism (municipalities, PA administrations) and innovations (SMEs) of our tested technological applications.

Duration: 2017 to 2020

Funded by: EU South Baltic Programme 2014-2020


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Information material (selection, all material also in German, Polish, Lithuanian and English languages you find here):

Events (selection, all events with background information you find here):


  • EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V.: Meer & Küste Deutsche Ostsee (Nr. 7). EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Rostock-Warnemünde, 2018, PDF, 07/2018
  • Karstens, S., Nazzari, C., Bâlon, C., Bielecka, M., Grigaitis, Z., Schumacher, J., Stybel, N., Razinkovas-Baziukas, A. (2018): Floating wetlands for nutrient removal in eutrophicated coastal lagoons: Decision support for site selection and permit process. Marine Policy 97, 51-60.
  • Coastal & Marine 1-2019: Blue mussel farming for improving water quality in the Baltic Sea. PDF here

Policy briefs:

  • Policy Brief #1: Floating wetlands and remediation of eutrophication
  • Policy Brief #2: Nutrient removal by floating wetlands
  • Policy Brief #3: Biodiversity hotspots – in 2021

Videos (selection, all videos you can find here):

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