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BaltCoast: A Systems Approach Framework for Coastal Research and Management in the Baltic

The coastal regions of the Baltic Sea are among the most intensively used worldwide. A holistic approach is needed, integrating different human activities with ecosystem capacity and environmental forcing. The ultimate objective of this project is a coherent and systematic management approach that encompasses multiple impacts in a spatially heterogeneous context. 

BaltCoast tackles this complex task using the Systems Approach Framework (SAF). The SAF is an issue oriented investigation and methodology that applies a holistic perspective. It investigates and quantifies the functions of systems in order to simulate specific questions concerning their functions or policies. It comprises the process from issue identification through system analyses to policy implementation. This Systems Approach can, hence, competently address implementation of international directives (e.g. Water Framework Directive (WFD), Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD)). BaltCoast addresses multiple issues through case studies that reflect current regional management challenges and develop a generic tool for integrated system assessment.


  • Schernewski, G., R. Friedland, A.-L. Buer, S. Dahlke, B. Drews, S. Höft, T. Klumpe, M. Schadach, J. Schumacher, A. Zaiko (0). Ecological-social-economic assessment of zebra-mussel cultivation scenarios for the Oder (Szczecin) Lagoon. J. coast. conserv. : ,
  • Buer, A.-L., G. Gyraite, P. Wegener, X. Lange, M. Katarzyte, G. Hauk and G. Schernewski (2018). Long term development of Bathing Water Quality at the German Baltic coast: spatial patterns, problems and model simulations. Mar. Poll. Bull. 135: 1055-1066, doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2018.08.048
  • Inácio, Miguel, Schernewski, Gerald, Nazemtseva, Yaroslava, Baltranaitė, Eglė, Friedland, René, Benz, Juliane (2018). Ecosystem services provision today and in the past: a comparative study in two Baltic lagoons. Ecological Research : , doi:10.1007/s11284-018-1643-8
  • Inácio, M. (2016).The Ecosystem Services Assessment Tool (ESAT) – Assessing ecosystem services and tracking their changes over time. Coastal & Marine 25: 8-9 (
  • Gillgren, C., Støttrup, J. G., Schumacher, J., Dinesen, G. E. (2018). Working together: collaborative decision making for sustainable Integrated Coastal Management (ICM). J. coast. conserv. : 1-10,
  • Kataržytė, M., Mėžinė, J., Vaičiūtė, D., Liaugaudaitė, S., Mukauskaitė, K., Umgiesser, G., Schernewski, G. (2018). Fecal contamination in shallow temperate estuarine lagoon: Source of the pollution and environmental factors. Mar. poll. bull. 133: 752-772,
  • Schumacher, J., G. Schernewski, M. Bielecka, M. I. Loizides and X. I. Loizidou (2018). Methodologies to support coastal management - A stakeholder preference and planning tool and its application. Mar. Policy 94: 150-157, doi: 10.1016/j.marpol.2018.05.017
  • Støttrup, J., Dinesen G., Schumacher, J., Gillgren, C., Schernewski, G. (2018). An introduction to the Systems Approach Framework. Coastal & marine 27, 1: 4-5,
  • Schernewski, G., M. Inácio and Y. Nazemtseva (2018). Expert based ecosystem service assessment in coastal and marine planning and management: A Baltic Lagoon case study. Front. Environ. Sci. 6: 19, doi: 10.3389/fenvs.2018.00019
  • Newton, A., Brito, A.C., Icely J.D., Derolez,V., Clara, I., Angus, S., Schernewski, G., Inácio, M., Lillebø, A.I., Sousa, A.I., Béjaoui, B.,Solidoro, C., Tosic, C., Cañedo-Argüelles, M., Yamamuro, M., Reizopoulou, S., Tseng, H.-C., Canu, D., Roselli, L., Maanan, M., Cristina, S., Ruiz-Fernández, A.C., Lima, R., Kjerfve, B., Rubio-Cisneros, N., Pérez-Ruzafa, A., Marcos, C., Pastres, R., Pranovi, F., Snoussi, M., Turpie, J., Tuchkovenko, J., Dyack, B., Brookes, J., Povilanskas, R., Khokhlov, V. (2018). Assessing, quantifying and valuing the ecosystem services of coastal lagoons. Journal for Nature Conservation 44: 50-65,
  • Karnauskaitė, D., G. Schernewski, J. Schumacher, R. Grunert and R. Povilanskas (2018). Assessing coastal management case studies around Europe using an indicator based tool. J. Coast. Conserv. 22: 549-570, doi: 10.1007/s11852-018-0597-x
  • Schernewski, G., Baltranaitė, E., Kataržytė, M., Balčiūnas, A., Čerkasova, N., Mėžinė, J. (2018). Establishing new bathing sites at the Curonian Lagoon coast: an ecological-social-economic assessment. Journal of Coastal Conservation . J. coast. conserv. in press: , doi:10.1007/s11852-017-0587-4
  • Schernewski, G., J. Schumacher, E. Weisner and L. Donges (2018). A combined coastal protection, realignment and wetland restoration scheme in the southern Baltic: planning process, public information and participation. J. Coast. Conserv., doi: 10.1007/s11852-017-0542-4
  • Schumacher, J. (2016). A participation, preference and planning tool for a systematic involvement of stakeholders. Coastal & Marine 25: 10-11
  • Schernewski, G., C. Bartel, N. Kobarg and D. Karnauskaite (2018). Retrospective assessment of a managed coastal realignment and lagoon restoration measure: the Geltinger Birk, Germany. J. Coast. Conserv. 22: 157-167, doi: 10.1007/s11852-017-0496-6
  • Støttrup, J. G., G. E. Dinesen, H. Janßen, C. Gillgren and G. Schernewski (2017). Re-visiting ICM theory and practice: lessons learned from the Baltic Sea region. Ocean Coastal Manage. 139: 64-76, doi: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2017.02.002
  • Friedland, R. and N. Stybel (2016). Fighting eutrophication in shallow coastal waters. YOUMARES 7, Hamburg, German Society for Marine Research: 43
  • Janßen, H. and R. Ernsteins (2016). Re-evaluating best-practice ICZM case studies around the Baltic Sea. Coastal & Marine 25: 6-7
  • Janßen, H., R. Ernsteins, J. G. Stottrup, G. E. Dinesen and R. Povilanskas (2016). A retrospective analysis of best practice Integrated Coastal Management cases around the Baltic Sea. In: 7th European Coastal Lagoons Symposium: abstracts book. Ed. by C. Marcos, A. Pérez-Ruzafa and M. Pérez-Marcos. Murcia: Compobell: 82, 978-84-944757-5-7
  • Friedland, R. and M. v. Weber (2015). Wasserqualitäts- und Nährstoffreduktionsziele für die deutsche Ostsee. Wasser u. Abfall 17: 10-15, doi: 10.1007/s35152-015-0591-7
  • McFadden, L. and G. Schernewski (2014). Critical reflections on a systems approach application in practice : a Baltic lagoon case study. Reg. environ. change 14: 2115-2126, doi:10.1007/s10113-012-0337-y
  • Schernewski, G., S. Schönwald and M. Kataržytė (2014). Application and evaluation of an indicator set to measure and promote sustainable development in coastal areas. Ocean coastal manage. 101, Part A: 2-13, doi:10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2014.03.028
  • Schernewski, G. and S. Bock (2014). Internet based training and education for coastal management in Germany: a critical evaluation. Mar. policy 43: 21-28, doi:10.1016/j.marpol.2013.03.015