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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., Schumacher, J., Weisner, E., Donges, L. (2017).  A combined coastal protection, realignment and wetland restoration scheme in the southern Baltic: Planning process, public information and participation. J. coast. conserv. :
  • Schumacher, J. (2016). A participation, preference and planning tool for a systematic involvement of stakeholders. Coastal & Marine 25: 10-11
  • Schernewski, G., Bartel, C., Kobarg, N., Karnauskaite,D. (2017). Retrospective assessment of a managed coastal realignment and lagoon restoration measure: The Geltinger Birk, Germany. J. coast. conserv. in press:
  • 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