Managing dredged material in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea


This article deals with the legal and practical recommendations for the management of dredged material in the riparian countries of the Baltic Sea. The recommendations are contained in three conventions: LC, 2000. London Convention (1972), Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea area (Helsinki Convention) (1992), the OSPAR Convention (1972). Different approaches to evaluating the contamination level of dredge spoils, used by the Baltic Sea riparian countries, have been characterized. The differences in those approaches manifest themselves by various concentration limits for contaminants, which form a basis for the classification of dredged material as either contaminated or non-contaminated, and thus determine how the spoils will be processed further. Based on the collected information about the concentration limits for contaminants of surface sediments in the coastal ports, it was pointed out that it is necessary to conduct routine monitoring of heavy metals, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls, tributyltin, and petroleum hydrocarbons in dredged sediments in all the Baltic Sea states. On the other hand, the monitoring of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins/furans, organochlorine, and organophosphoric pesticides is only needed in locations that are suspected of historical or being the local contamination sources. Due to significant economic limitations of chemical determinations, it is important to consider a simple screening test of sediment that would say whether sediment may be “contaminated” and qualifies for more detailed and costly chemical research. It may be typical basic physical-chemical analysis of sediments or ecotoxicological classification of sediments.

Despite environmentally friendly tendencies, the practical application of dredged material within the Baltic Sea area is very limited. Dredged material is most frequently stored at the specifically designated sites. From among the practical uses of dredge spoils, beach nourishment is of the highest significance.

In the conclusion, the new proposed management procedure of dredged material was presented.

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STANISZEWSKA, M., BONIECKA, H. Managing dredged material in the coastal zone of the Baltic Sea. Environ Monit Assess 189, 46 (2017).

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  • Dredged material
  • Baltic Sea riparian countries
  • Contamination of coastal sediments
  • Practical application of dredged material