The term “transitional waters” was defined in the EU Water Framework Directive as “bodies of surface water in the vicinity of river mouths which are partially saline in character as a result of their proximity to coastal waters but which are substantially influenced by freshwater flows”. However, in the last decade, this has been expanded and used worldwide to include all environments which link the terrestrial/freshwater and coastal/marine domains, which have features relevant to all of those while retaining their own unique characteristics. These areas are considered diverse, highly productive, ecologically important systems on a global scale and highly valuable for the benefits that they have provided to human societies since at least the Neolithic times.
The symposium will especially focus on interdisciplinary scientific research and on recent insights on the conservation, restoration and management of these systems. In addition to main organizer Estuarine Coastal Sciences Association (ECSA), the involvement in the organization of conference of both Baltic (BALLOON) and European and Mediterranean (EUROMEDLAG) lagoon research networks brings a special focus to lagoons but it is expected that all the discussions will also be relevant to fjords, estuaries, rias, deltas and other transitional waters. The conference is also proud to receive support from the South Baltic Programme “ARTWEI” project dealing with the transboundary aspects of lagoon and transitional waters management in the Baltic.