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Eco-designing for the coastal zone nutrient's circularity (ECONUT)

International consortium is ready to design the coastal zone nutrient’s circularity model

In the conditions of climate change, eutrophication, and soil degradation, the Baltic Sea region is facing the challenge of recovering and obtaining nutrients. The Baltic Sea coastal area is rich in biomass resources (algae, macrophytes, mussel shells, beach wrack) that can be used in agriculture for sustainable food production. One of the possibilities consistent with a circular economy is the use of marine biomass resources both as a fertilizer and a source of nutrients for further recovery. These solutions will prevent nutrients from spreading into the environment and becoming pollutants. Nutrient-rich coastal biomass can be used to stabilise dune slopes as well as enhance their biodiversity.

Klaipėda University as a leading partner together with partners from Poland, Sweden, Germany, and Denmark (with the support of associated partners from Finland), prepared an application and won EU funding under the 2021–2027 Interreg VI-A South Baltic cross-border cooperation programme for the implementation of the project “Eco-designing for the coastal zone nutrient’s circularity”. The acronym of the project is ECONUT.

The overall project objective is to design and develop the nutrient flow cycle technology following the principles of a circular economy and sustainable soil and water management for a regional bioeconomy. We will work on development of technologies for circularity of nutrient flow and sustainable usage of soil and water ecosystems as well as on creation of value-added products for agriculture and dune protection against wind erosion and storm flooding. As a result, we will have two developed technologies and three pilot cases. An evaluation of the impact of beach wrack removal from the coast and its application to soil fertility, slope stability and biodiversity to climate change will be done. At the end of the project, the main focus will be on the market analysis of the pilot technologies and the creation of business models of developed technologies and value-added products.

Project promoter

Klaipėda University. Principal investigator prof. Olga Anne

Project partners

The project involves six partners: Klaipėda University, Lithuania; Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry, Lithuania; Gdansk University of Technology, Poland; Sustainable Development Skåne, Sweden; University of Rostock, Germany, and University of Southern Denmark, Denmark.

  • Gdansk University of Technology (GdanskTech), responsible person Andrzej Rogala
  • Sustainable Development Skåne (HUT), responsible person Helena Thelander
  • University of Rostock (UR), responsible person Daniela Glueck
  • University of Southern Denmark (USD), responsible persons: Cintia Organo Quintana

The partners are supported by six associated partners from Šilalė District Municipality Administration (Lithuania), JSC Palanga Communal Utility (Lithuania), John Nurminen Foundation (Finland), Finnish Environment Institute (Finland), Regional Inspectorate for Environmental Protection in Gdansk (Poland), and En God Granne (Sweden). Klaipėda University leads the project.

As stakeholders, we expecting to involve into the project South Baltic region farmers, agricultural specialists, local and regional authorities (municipalities), environmental protection agencies, public health care and food risk assessment institutions, entrepreneurs, scientists, non-governmental organizations, and public.

Research staff of the Lithuanian Research Centre for Agriculture and Forestry participating in the project

  • Danutė Karčauskienė
  • Ieva Mockevičienė
  • Gintaras Šiaudinis
  • Alvyra Šlepetienė

Project duration: September 1, 2023 – August 31, 2026.

Total project budget is 1 473 550,00 EUR (ERDF co-financing 1 178 840,00 EUR).

Project No. STHB.02.03-IP.01-0004/23.

The project is co-financed by the EU European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) under the 2021-2027 Interreg VI-A South Baltic cross-border cooperation programme. More information about the programme: www.southbaltic.eu