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Climate Change in the Baltic Sea Region: Consequences for coastal areas and adaptation examples

Dr. Gerald Schernewski, Head of the Coastal and Marine Management Group at the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research, Germany; Professor at Klaipeda University, Lithuania, and President of the Coastal and Marine Union (NGO), The Netherlands

The Baltic Sea and the Chesapeake Bay show many ecological and structural similarities and face similar problems. For both regions, climate change is a major challenge. The presentation gives an overview about present and projected impacts on the Baltic Sea and its catchment. It especially focusses on the consequences of climate change for coastal ecosystems, socio-economic development and on adaptation measures. Examples are: New possibilities for regional development and tourism, land-use changes and aquaculture; changing nutrient loads and effects on restoration goals, bathing water quality and increasing problems of human-pathogenic micro-organisms (like vibrions); shifts in marine habitats and species distribution; invasion and spreading of new species like the jellifish Mnemiopsis or the naval shipworm Teredo navalis and implications for coastal protection; sea-level rise and changes in coastal protection strategy; coastal retreat and realignment case studies, problems of implementation, public participation and acceptance.

Background: With support from the Alumni Council of the American Friends of the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Dr. Schernewski will share the Leibniz Institute’s research in the realm of sustainable coastal management and to explore potential cooperation between the Leibniz Institute for Baltic Sea Research and the University of Maryland, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Old Dominion University and George Mason University.