Ongoing Flagships

1.Baltic Blue Growth - Initiating full scale mussel farming in the Baltic Sea

Initiation of full-scale mussel farming in the Baltic Sea will set up a successful mussel-farming value chain. The aim is to develop an integrated territorial approach to industrial-scale production of blue mussels and establish commercially viable production of mussel-meal fodder. To achieve this, suitable farming techniques will be developed for the Baltic Sea region conditions and a mussel meal industry will be produced. All mentioned above will take place in close cooperation with policy makers on regional and national level and in line with current legislation; the aim is to produce supportive policy instruments. The project will also investigate the use of combined mari-cultural systems, where mussels may mitigate negative nutrient effects of fish farming. A system for allowing payment for the service "nutrient uptake" needs to be created, a task that the project will try to solve.

Lead: Region Östergötland (SE)
Project period: 2016-2018

Baltic Blue Growth leaflet and fact sheet.

2. Project BEST - Better efficiency for industrial sewage treatment

Project BEST tackles both eutrophication and risks of hazardous substances to the Baltic Se through concrete demonstration and pilot investments, training and transferring best practices. The project aims at better control of industrial discharges by jointly developing sustainable cooperation and optimal treatment for industrial discharges with municipal authorities, water utilities and industrial companies.

Furthermore, the project promotes the exchange of good practices. The project stresses the importance of transnational cooperation and supports waste water treatment plants (WWTPs) in the Baltic Sea region to further improve their performance and reach the HELCOM standards in outgoing wastewaters. Pilot actions and investments will be applicable in all WWTPs to solve similar challenges focused in the project, thus benefitting the whole region.

Lead: City of Helsinki's Environment Services (FI)
Project period: 2017-2020.

3. BaRuWa - Baltic Rural Wastewater

The project addresses challenges related to a lack of appropriate waste water treatment (WWT) in rural areas in the Baltic Sea Region (BSR), insufficient know-how of available technologies, public perception, and barriers for market development. For improved surface water quality, there is need for implementation of state-of-the-art WWT technologies, adapted to the diverse socio-economic conditions in rural areas of the BSR. The activities are grouped in work packages: Regional Status Mapping, Technology Evaluation, Public Perception Improvement, and Market Capacity. Most activities address the issues on the BSR level. The results enhance the institutional capacity of the potential customers, service providers in the value chain and local authorities.

Lead: POMInnO Ltd (PL)
The seed project was finaced by the EUSBSR seed money facility.

4. SUWMAB - Sustainable Municipal Wastewater Management: knowledge–based application and promotion of treatment wetlands in the Baltic Sea Region

The project addresses good practice for wastewater management at municipal level. Results of the project will be:

  • 9 demo installations of novel types of treatment wetlands better adapted to meet the local needs/conditions for wastewater treatment;
  • improved and unified monitoring methodology for treatment wetlands;
  • user-needs driven awareness raising about the efficiency of treatment wetlands;
  • recommendations targeted at national level legislation, e.g. as input into national legislation for preparation of Water Framework Directive river basin management plans or Marine Strategy Framework Directive's programmes.


Lead: Gdańsk University of Technology (PL)
The seed project was finaced by the EUSBSR seed money facility.

5. NutriTrade - Nutrient Offsetting for the Baltic Sea

The project develops new innovative policy instruments promoting cost-effective, cross-border, cross-sector nutrient reduction measures in the Baltic Sea basin. The project will pilot a platform for nutrient trading, nutrient offsets and joint implementation of nutrient reduction targets in the Baltic Sea area.

In the pilot scheme, several proven nutrient abatement measures will be implemented, resulting in phosphorus load reductions of up to 50 t/a. At the same time, the project will develop 1) credible nutrient offset verification mechanisms, and 2) assessment mechanisms to find and support innovative but proven and verifiable nutrient reduction methods which have not yet become market-driven or integrated into governmental policies.

The lessons learned in the pilot scheme will be used for analysing nutrient trading as a water policy instrument on a national level, and also for the analysis of a Baltic Sea wide inter-governmental nutrient trading. Based on these, NutriTrade will produce policy recommendations for the Baltic Sea Region.

Lead: John Nurminen Foundation (FI)
Project period:

6. SmallWWTPs - Enhancing Efficiency of Small Wastewater Treatment Plants

Small municipal waste water treatment plants possess a large and fairly easily achievable nutrient reduction potential. The main focus of this initiative is to enhance the capacity of public authorities and practitioners to target investments on improving wastewater management by providing information on the most cost efficient technologies for nutrient removal in small wastewater treatment plants (300-3000 persons). Three pilot investments will be realized and promoted.

Lead: Turku University of Applied Sciences Ltd. (FI)

IWAMA - Interactive Water Management

The project aims to improve resource efficiency in wastewater management in the Baltic Sea region by developing the capacity of wastewater treatment (WWT) operators and implementing pilot investments which will result in reduced nutrient inflows to the Baltic Sea. The actions will focus on three main areas in the municipal WWT sector where gaps have been recognized through work in previous EU funded projects PRESTO and PURE: capacity development (CD), sludge management (SM) and energy management (EM).

The innovative solutions and economic potential of municipal wastewater treatment sector are threatened by limited knowledge of existing options. While advanced technology solutions are continuously becoming available, their integration at waste water treatment plants are often challenging and inefficient. The project will increase capacity of WWT operators in choosing cost-effective technologies in nutrient removal, smart sludge and energy management and build structured models to support lifelong learning in WWT sector.

Lead: Union of the Baltic Cities, Sustainable Cities Commission c/o City of Turku (FI)
Project period: 2016-2019

8. SIGWET - Increasing Significance of Midfield Wetlands to Combat Baltic Sea Eutrophication

The objective of the project is to decrease nutrient run-off from farms in countries (Estonia, Germany, Lithuania, Latvia, Poland and Sweden) in the Baltic Sea region in order to combat eutrophication of the Baltic Sea. The main activities of the project are restoration of natural and construction of new midfield wetlands on 100 farms, monitoring their nitrogen and phosphorus concentration before and after construction and assessment of their efficiency in regard to the protection of water resources.

The project will prepare a practical manual for farmers and agricultural advisors on the design and construction of wetlands. The farmers and Agricultural Advisory Centres will sign an agreement on cooperation. The project will also create recommendations for the water management authorities of the countries participating in the project regarding water protection measures in agricultural sector.

Lead: Seed project: WWF Poland (PL). Main project: Institute of Technology and Life Sciences National Research Institute in Falenty (PL).

9. RelNutData - Sufficient and Reliable Nutrient Loading Data – The River Daugava Catchment Area

The project addresses the problem of incomplete and uncertain nutrient loading data, especially in shared catchment areas, which has been acknowledged at HELCOM Pollution Load Compilation work. The River Daugava has been selected to serve as a pilot area for the project activities since the phosphorus load to the Gulf of Riga is still increasing and it is one of the basins with most gaps and uncertainties. The developed model and methods for monitoring could potentially be later applied to other river basins as well and the project serves as a pilot for harmonizing methods to estimate source apportionment in the Baltic Sea region. The project provides information to support the member states with work related to HELCOM, Water Framework and Marine Strategy Framework Directives.

Lead: Finnish Environment Institute, SYKE (FI).

10. CONSUME – Consumer Guide for Sustainably Produced Meat

The aim of the project is to develop meat guides further and launch them in newly targeted countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). The proposed project includes the development and inclusion of a criterion for eutrophication and best practice guide for more sustainable production methods. The aim is to reduce the footprint of meat consumption and production.

Lead: WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme (SE).

Germany, Sweden and Finland have released consumer meat guides.

Ongoing Flagships

Initiating full scale mussel farming in the Baltic Sea (Baltic Blue Growth)

2. Better Efficiency for Sewage Treatment (BEST)

3. Baltic Rural Wastewater (BaRuWa)

Sustainable Municipal Wastewater Management: knowledge–based application and promotion of treatment wetlands in the Baltic Sea Region (SUWMAB)

5. Nutrient Offsetting for the Baltic Sea (NutriTrade)

6. Enhancing Efficiency of Small Wastewater Treatment Plants (SmallWWTPs)

7. Interactive Water Management (IWAMA)

8. Increasing Significance of Midfield Wetlands to Combat Baltic Sea Eutrophication (SIGWET)

Sufficient and Reliable Nutrient Loading Data – The River Daugava Catchment Area (RelNutData)

Consumer Guide for Sustainably Produced Meat (CONSUME)

Completed Flagships

1. Phasing Out of the Use of Phosphates in Detergents, finalized in 2011.
(EN and RU)

2. Putting Best Agricultural Practices into Work (Baltic Deal), 2010-2013.

3. Assessment of Regional Nutrient Pollution Load and Identification of Priority Projects to Reduce Nutrient Inputs from Belarus to the Baltic Sea, Nov 2012-Dec 2013.

4. Project on Reduction of the Eutrophication of the Baltic Sea Today (PRESTO), Jun 2011-Mar 2014.


With the support of

Nutrient inputs

Networks: The EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region

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