Ongoing Flagships

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: 

Materials: NutriTrade overview, Pilot Gypsum, Pilot Fish, Nutribute

Policy Briefs: 1. Gypsum Amendment and Large Scale Use, 2. Gypsum Amendment and Policy, 3. Nutrient Offsets

The project has launched an online platform, Nutribute, where people and organisations can campaign and raise funds for projects to benefit the Baltic Sea and where Baltic Sea stakeholders can donate money to support those projects

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.

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.

A Baltic Smart Water Hub is a multifunctional online portal aiming at connecting water experts in the region. The online-Hub provides most recent good practices, technical solutions and tools on a broad array of water management issues.

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

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.

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.

DESIRE - Development of Sustainable wetland management by restoration and biomass utilisation of peatlands in the Neman river catchment to imporve water quality of the Baltic Sea

The objective of the project is to increase efficiency of peatlands management in the Neman catchment to reduce nutrient release to the Baltic Sea. The project aims to formulate peatland chapters in river basin management plans, provide guidelines for paludiculture for nutrient reduction, implement pilot sites, form a transnational platform for knowledge exchange and harmonise policies and coordinate joint implementation of sustainable river basin management.

Lead: Greifswald University (DE)

BigRivers4Baltic - Enhancing water resources management in four river basins oriented on Baltic protection

The objective of the project is to enable a harmonised approach to nutrient loads assessment and reduction by Poland, Lithuania, Latvia, Belarus, Russia and Germany through four biggest rivers flowing to the Baltic Sea. The project aims to support water management boards with calibrated models for simulating nutrient transport within river catchments and by building and analysing various scenarios related to agricultural, environmental and social policy decisions, which are likely to be implemented in participating countries, in terms of their influence on the future nutrient loads to the Baltic Sea. The project would build a harmonised decision support tool for water managers based on SWAT-model, prepare a set of regional trajectories of decreasing the load to the southern Baltic and designate the most sensitive areas in terms of their relevance to the overall nutrient load from each catchment.

Lead: Warsaw University of Technology (PL)

Ongoing Flagships

Nutrient offsetting for the Baltic Sea (NutriTrade)

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

Interactive water management (IWAMA)

Better efficiency for industrial sewage treatment (

Consumer guide for sustainably produced meat (CONSUME)

Development of sustainable wetland management by restoration and biomass utilisation of peatlands in the Neman river catchment to improve water quality of the Baltic Sea (DESIRE)

Enhancing water resources management in four river basins oriented on Baltic protection (BigRivers4Baltic)

Completed Flagships

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

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

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.

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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