ICZM-Best practice case study in the Oder estuary
The project is located at the River Oder estuary at the southern Baltic Sea bordering Germany and Poland (see Figure 1). The entire estuary is dominated by the River Oder, which has its source 854 kilometres further south-easterly in the Czech Republic. After running through Western Poland, it flows into the shallow Szczecin Lagoon and then into three branches (‘Dziwna’, ‘Swina’ and ‘Peene’) that empty into the Baltic Sea. The Szczecin Lagoon can be subdivided into the Large Lagoon (‘Wielki Zalew’) on the Polish side and the Small Lagoon (‘Kleines Haff’) on the German side. The whole lagoon is shallow with an average depth of 3.8 metres (Radziejewska and Schernewski, 2008).
Figure 1: Project region of ‘ICZM-Oder estuary’ (adapted from Radziejewska and Schernewski, 2008)
The coastal region around the estuary is a complex pattern of lagoons and islands. Broad reed belts and artificial sandy beaches near the few small towns characterize the coastline. Due to its outstanding ecological value, most of the coastal area is under nature protection. A detailed description of the lagoon’s ecology is given in Radziejewska and Schernewski (2008). The main economic activities around the River Oder estuary are tourism, agriculture, fishing, and shipping. In total more than ten million tourists visit the estuary region per year and deliver a lot of money to the region (Steingrube et al., 2007). Another important source of income are the Polish harbours, which have an annual turnover above 22 million tonnes (Schernewski et al., 2005).
The whole region of the Oder estuary is suffering from massive economic problems and high gradients between East and West as well as between coast and hinterland. The dwellers of the project region see their main problems in economic development, demographic development and a high rate of unemployment (Wenk, 2007). A further problem is the high pollution of coastal waters by the River Oder. It has a 120.000 square kilometres large catchment area, from which 90% are on the Polish territory. Heavy eutrophication and water quality problems are consequence of the continuous inputs of nutrients and contaminants (Schernewski et al., 2004). Both are a problem for tourism development and nature conservation, which are most important regional issues in the project region (Dolch, 2004).
The project constitutes a very particular ICZM initiative since it is mainly aiming at conducting research to deliver scientific output. Nevertheless the project aims at being of a practical use by accompanying the ICZM process in the region. But it is not mainly tending to put ICZM measures into practice (Schernewski, 2007). The overall aim of the project is the sustainable development of the coastal region. Therefore tourism and environmental quality should be regarded in the context of all other regional activities and utilizations (Schernewski et al., 2007).
The project ‘ICZM-Oder estuary’ started in May 2004 and is divided in three phases, whereas the first two project phases ran from 2004 to 2007 and the third (currently in approval procedure) from 2007 to 2010. All phases are supported by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (‘Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung’, BMBF) with about 3.4 million Euros (Janßen, 2007). It is one out of two reference projects on coastal management in Germany.
The project consists of eleven partners, which belong to the field of research as well as consultancy (Schernewski et al., 2007). The coordination tasks are in the hands of the Baltic Sea Research Institute Warnemünde (‘Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde’; IOW). Additionally, the project consists of a steering committee. It should assure that the results hold practical relevance and the region benefits from the project. The committee consists of government representatives, lobbies, representatives of the districts as well as Polish members (Löser, 2007).
The striking point of the project is that it does not deal with the practical implementation of single ICZM measures. It is not (or only limited) a practical ICZM execution project, but a research project aiming at gathering basic knowledge on ICZM. Its main focus is “to support the initiation of implementation by scientific advice, the search for funding, the provision of a supporting infrastructure as well as the enhancement of communication and knowledge transfer” (Schernewski et al., 2007). Therewith it aims at developing towards a model region for national recommendations and international experience transfer (Schernewski et al., 2007).
The strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of ‘ICZM-Oder estuary’ (Tab. 1).
- Radziejewska, T. and Schernewski, G., 2008. The Szczecin (Oder-) Lagoon. In: U. Schiewer (Editor), Ecology of Baltic Coastal Waters, Ecological Studies, Vol. 197. Springer, Berlin, pp. 115-130.
- Steingrube, W., Scheibe, R. and Feilbach, M., 2007. Entwicklung einer großräumigen Tourismuskonzeption. In: G. Schernewski, H. Janßen and N. Löser (Editors), Forschung in der Odermündungsregion: Ergebnisse 2004-2007, IKZM-Oder Berichte 30. EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Rostock, pp. 91-102.
- Schernewski, G., Löser, N. and Sekścińska, A., 2005. Integrated Coastal Area - River Basin Management (ICARM): The Oder/Odra case study. In: B. Glaeser, A. Sekścińska and N. Löser (Editors), Integrated Coastal Zone Management at the Szczecin Lagoon: Exchange of experiences in the region. Coastline Report 6. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, pp. 43 - 54.
- Wenk, R., 2007. Agency for regional and spatial planning, Department of nature conservation, agriculture, forestry, fishery, resources and waste management, Greifswald. Personal communication at 25.09.2007.
- Schernewski, G., Behrens, H., Bock, S., Dehne, P., Erbguth, W., Glaeser, B., Janssen, G., Kazakos, W., Neumann, T., Permien, T., Schuldt, B., Sordyl, H., Steingrube, W., Vetter, L. and Wirtz, K., 2004. Integriertes Küstenzonenmanagement in der Odermündungsregion (IKZM Oder). In: G. Schernewski and T. Dolch (Editors), Geographie der Küsten und Meere, Coastline Reports 1. EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Warnemünde, pp. 183-194.
- Dolch, T., 2004. Die Auswirkungen der Wasserqualität auf den Tourismus - Eine Studie am Beispiel des Oderästuars. In: G. Schernewski and T. Dolch (Editors), The Oder estuary - against the background of the European Water Framework Directive. Meereswissenschaftliche Berichte No. 57. Baltic Sea Research Institute IOW, Warnemünde, pp. 223-288.
- Schernewski, G., 2007. Baltic Sea Research Institute IOW, Coastal Zone Research and Management, Warnemünde. Personal communication at 24.09.2007.
- Schernewski, G., Janßen, H. and Löser, N., 2007. Forschung in der Odermündungsregion: Ergebnisse 2004-2007, IKZM-Oder Berichte 30, EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Rostock, pp. 120.
- Janßen, H., 2007. Baltic Sea Research Institute IOW, Coastal Zone Research and Management, Warnemünde. Personal communication at 24.07.2007.
- Löser, N., 2007. Forschung in der Odermündungsregion: Die erste Projektphase IKZM-Oder (2004-2007). In: G. Schernewski, H. Janßen and N. Löser (Editors), Forschung in der Odermündungsregion: Ergebnisse 2004-2007, IKZM-Oder Berichte 30. EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V., Rostock, pp. 1-18.
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- Lessons learned from three ICZM best-practice projects
- ICZM-Best practice case study in the Bay of Lübeck
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- Guidelines for Integrated Coastal Zone Management (ICZM) in Germany
- The present study was performed within the frame of a Diploma thesis at the Technical University Berlin which was published as ICZM-Odra report no. 44, ISSN 1614-5968 download
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