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New study into what BalticSea2020’s Living Coasts project means to the community

BalticSea2020 has initiated a new study as part of the Living Coasts programme. The study, “Measures for living coasts – how does the community benefit?”, investigates the social benefits and consequences of the Living Coasts project for people, stakeholders and society as a whole. The study is led by docent Tore Söderqvist from Enveco Miljöekonomi AB.

BalticSea2020 started a large-scale coastal zone project, Living Coasts, in the spring of 2011. A number of different measures will be carried out within the project from 2012 to 2017, aimed at improving the ecological status in the study areas of Björnöfjärden, Säbyviken and Torpe-Infjärden on Ingarö, Värmdö Municipality. The project is of long-term importance as it can provide information about how bays in the Baltic Sea can be restored and at what cost. These measures will also have other consequences for the community, not least the benefits associated with an improved water environment for individuals, stakeholder groups and society as a whole. This knowledge should be provided by “Measures for living coasts – how does the community benefit?”.

- Restoration work in Björnöfjärden’s bays may, for example, result in clearer bathing water and better fishing, which could benefit residents and attract visitors. The study is all about investigating the advantages created by the Living Coasts project,” says Tore Söderqvist.

The study uses the progression of a socio-economic impact assessment, illuminating the financial effect for various stakeholders, the overall effects of the Living Coasts project and who wins or loses from it being conducted. The method is widely accepted, from both theoretical and practical perspectives, and is used by public bodies such as the Swedish Agency for Marine and Water Management and the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency. The condition of the water environment before the measures in Living Coasts were undertaken is used as a reference point.
The research will be conducted in three stages, with the first results of the study announced at the end of 2012. A survey of landowners and interviews in the study area will be conducted. 

- This knowledge will allow us to answer questions such as ‘Is it worth spending the money on these measures?’ in a way that not only addresses the environmental effects, but also the financial value for Värmdö Municipality and for those who live next to or close to the bays,” says Conrad Stralka, director of BalticSea2020.

The study will run until the end of 2013.

For more information, please contact:
Tore Söderqvist, Chairman of the Board, Enveco Miljöekonomi AB, tel: +46 (0)70 493 7473. E-mail: tore@enveco.se
Linda Kumblad, project manager Living Coasts, BalticSea2020, tel: +46 (0)8 673 97 63. E-mail: lk@balticsea2020.org.