Hallo an alle!
Here is the new EUCC-D’s IVY volunteer: Mathilde!
I arrived from Bordeaux, France, back in September for 6 months of volunteering. Looking for an abroad experience in the environmental field, I took my chance when the IVY team sent me this enthusiastic project opportunity.
Ligthouses of Warnemünde, Rostock, Germany
You might have already met Arrigo, Cristina and Mikel, the previous IVY volunteers in this Non-Governmental Organisation named EUCC-D aka the Coastal Union Germany.
Located in Warnemünde (Rostock, Germany), EUCC-D is an NGO working on promoting the sustainable development of coasts and seas in Germany through different research projects.
In this regard, when Cristina and Mikel had introduced themselves on this blog, they also presented the Interreg South Baltic project LiveLagoons. To quote them about the LiveLagoons project:
“The project’s main goal is to achieve a better water quality in eutrophicated* lagoons in the South Baltic by installing floating plant islands in order to support the rehabilitation of coastal habitats”
*eutrophication is the addition of nutrients to water in lakes and rivers, which encourages plant growth that can take oxygen from the water and kill fish and other animals: Massive use of fertilizers contributes to the eutrophication of rivers and lakes
-Definition from Cambridge Dictionary
Last May, those islands have been installed in the Darss-Zingt Bodden Chain, a lagoon in northern Germany and Cristina and Mikel have shared with you the video of the installation.
I am here to catch up with you the news about this project.
Four months later, during my first day with EUCC-D, we went to the installation site in order to harvest the islands’ plants. For this purpose, we took the islands out of the water. This harvest has also been an opportunity to enjoy the biodiversity hosted by the islands: fish, shrimps, snails, birds and insects. Especially the large amount of eels were a surprise for us. Eels (Anguilla anguilla) are snake-like fish and critically endangered species.
From left to right, top to bottom: island handling operation, shrimp, eel, water measurement
The harvested plant material will be analyzed in the laboratory for phosphorus and nitrogen concentrations. We also took water samples to analyze nutrient concentrations later in the laboratory and we measured pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity directly in the water. It is an ongoing monitoring program and will continue until 2020.
After the harvest, one of the islands remained outside for maintenance. The other one has been put back in the water so we can be able to monitoring the island even during winter and observe how it will react to ice and how the plants will re-grow from their roots.
That is all for today, if you want more information and follow LiveLagoons’ next adventures, feel free to check out the dedicated webpage: http://www.balticlagoons.net/livelagoons/!
I will be back soon to talk about another EUCC-D research project: DUNC Heritage.
Germinated seed on Warnemünde beach during the World Clean Up Day 2018
Many Thanks to Svenja for her thorough re-reading of this article.