Baltic Sea: A Recovering Future From Decades of Eutrophication

Authors: Anna-Stiina Heiskanen, Erik Bonsdorff, MarkoJoas

Type of publication: Book chapter

The eutrophication development of the Baltic Sea since early 20th century has been driven by human activities causing increasing nutrient loading, impaired ecosystem status, negative impacts on human welfare, and changing responses in governance. Both the Baltic Sea ecosystem and the surrounding countries have gone through major changes during the last 100 years. The social and ecological regime shifts have been driven by political change and economic development of the region, from the landscape divided by the ‘Iron Curtain’ into the environmentally advanced governance system of the European Union. Thanks to the policies and action plans coordinated by the environmental protection convention, HELCOM, nutrient loading trends have been curbed, but with little impact on environmental status. Future climate change projections imply that an improvement of the Baltic Sea ecosystem status will need even stronger measures. A transition to adaptive governance and the circular economy could provide sustainable solutions.

Heiskanen, A-S,  Bonsdorff, E. and Joas, M. 2019. Baltic Sea: A Recovering Future From Decades of Eutrophication. In: Coasts and Estuaries, Chapter 20, page: 343-362. Elsevier BV.
DOI 10.1016/B978-0-12-814003-1.00020-4