Interreg volunteering in the Baltic Sea!
Arrigo writing here!
Almost 25, I come from a small-sized and peaceful, sometimes even boring, town in sunny Tuscany, Italy, and so far 2017 has been quite an eventful year for me:
I got my M.Sc. in Law at the University of Bologna last spring and, itching for an opportunity away from my own comfort zone, when I first heard about the IVY initiative I immediately felt enthusiastic!
I applied to the program in the summer, and in the matter of a few weeks I got involved!
This is my first week as an Interreg Project Partner at the EUCC-D offices in Warnemünde, Rostock, in the north-east of Germany, and I’m just starting to realize how important Interreg cooperation within Europe actually is.
EUC-D, or Die Küsten Union Deutschland, whose main goal is to is “to promote the sustainable development of coasts and seas in Germany” is a partner under the wider umbrella of Interreg Baltic Sea region and Submariner Network in carrying out the Baltic Blue Growth (BBG) project, which involves many stakeholders scattered among Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Poland, Estonia and Latvia.
BBG is meant to give an answer to several important questions:
Can mussel farming improve the Baltic Sea's water quality and at the same time create new business models for animal feed production? The sought after target is carrying out advancing mussel farming in the Baltic Sea from experimental to full scale.
Mussel farming in the Baltic Sea is definitely a challenging enterprise because of the peculiar environmental conditions of the whole area, such as harsh winters and low salinity waters, that prevent the bivalves from easily growing to marketable size, but nevertheless is something that could really make an enormous positive impact!
Once done on a large-scale it will contribute to reducing the excess of nutrients in the Baltic Sea waters (eutrophication), and at the same time mussels will be used in agriculture and aquaculture as fertilizer, fish and poultry feed, thus boosting local economy and, why not, also tackling unemployment.
Cooperation among different countries and regions along the Baltic’s shoreline is something that is deeply rooted in these lands, stretching back to the times of the Hanseatic League, and today it is proving once again as an essential tool in promoting new economic and environmental-friendly development of the area.
As for Rostock, I have to say that it really is an interesting city to explore and live in!
Despite its relatively small size it boasts with events and students get-together every week!
Arrigo, IVY Interreg Project Partner at EUCC-D, Rostock, Germany.