Litter monitoring programme
Topic of the practice
Environmental awareness-raising activities
Good Practice Information
Marine litter accumulation at beaches is a problem in many places of Europe. Such problem became obvious in the Mediterranean during a visit to Teramo District Council, the Italian partner in Semester 3. Heavy floods transported large amounts of reed and litter which accumulated at the beaches and along the coast. It caused high subsequent infrastructure and cleaning costs. These problems and the local management solutions in Teramo - primarily based on good knowledge of the litter problem (origins and destinations) and a well informed general public - were the motivation to improve the way that Warnemünde deals with marine and beach litter.
The beaches at Warnemünde are cleaned on a daily basis during the season. This is laborous and has high costs. Despite this, no marine and beach litter monitoring exists and the exact source of litter has not been explored. Therefore, based upon the programme of activities of Teramo and with bilateral discussions with this partner, IOW initiated a litter monitoring programme during the summer season of 2011. It also tested new monitoring methods and carried out a detailed analysis of the sources. The conclusion was that local pollution by beach tourist as well as large scale events (Hanse Sail, Warnemünde Week, New Year's Eve) are the most important for pollution. Shipping, fishing and long-distance transport can largely be neglected. In cooperation with the NGO "Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union (NABU) an improved litter management was developed which includes major environmental awareness-raising activities (see below).
Evidence of success
The environmental awareness-raising activities include a programme for teachers and pupils for litter monitoring and sampling at beaches. Further, the freely distributed magazine "Meer und Küste" contains specific information to inform beach tourists about the problem. Both aspects have helped to increase the awareness about litter in the sea and possible consequences for marine organisms. It is expected that these measures, to be repeated in the 2012 season, will and reduce local litter deposition.
Contact details to obtain further information on the practice
Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde
Annex completed on: 11-20-2011