Integration of science and business is necessary for successful development of industry in the coastal zone. Coastal zone environment connecting the sea and the land is extremely sensitive to human impact, therefore further development of economic activity is possible only solving natural, social and economic conflicts. Services provided by CORPI are oriented towards implementation of integrated coastal zone management principles and realization of scopes of sustainable development strategy of Lithuania:
- minimization of environmental impacts of economic activities,
- increase of efficiency in waste management and use of natural resources,
- protection of biodiversity in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems,
- protection and scientifically sound management of the coastal landscapes,
- mitigation of global climate change and its consequences
Meeting the needs of the local industry, CORPI was involved in more than 60 applied research projects during last 5 years.
CORPI takes part in environmental monitoring programmes of all three levels that are enforced in Lithuania: national, municipality and industry oriented. Salmon and salmon-trout juveniles and spawning grounds are being monitored since year 2000 within the framework of national environmental monitoring program, recommendations for the coastal zone fish resource management and protection measures are delivered annually.
Klaipėda city was one of the first towns in Lithuania that implemented monitoring of municipal level. According to the program of Environmental Monitoring of Klaipėda Municipality several environmental parameters are observed: air quality, quality status of surface water bodies, changes of landscape, noise level and biodiversity. Klaipėda city monitoring information system was created for public presentation of the monitoring results (www.monitor.ku.lt).
Institute coordinates implementation of Environmental Monitoring Program of the Būtingė Oil Terminal. In the framework of the monitoring programme morpho- and lithodynamic processes are investigated including studies of potential effects on seawater and seabed quality as well as local biodiversity.
One of the main Klaipėda city industry objects is Klaipėda State Sea Port. Institute staff takes part in monitoring of hydrological and hydrobiological parameters, changes of the bottom relief and deposits in the port aquatory and dumping areas located in the open sea.
Oil extraction is very specific activity in the coastal zone. In the license area of JSC “Minios nafta” ecosystem parameters and social environment are monitored.
Environmental impact assessment (EIA) and risk assessment
Environmental impact is assessed for main activities in the coastal zone: port industries, oil extraction and transportation, port dredging and sediment disposal in the sea, building of hydrotechnical installations, roads, wind energy, etc.
Risk assessment and local accidents liquidation plans are prepared for the companies with elevated risk to the environment. “Klaipėda State Sea Port oil pollution combating, fire liquidation, people and property rescue plan” and “Būtingė Oil terminal Oil spills at the Sea Liquidation Plan” could be mentioned as examples of this type of projects carried out by CORPI.
Compensation of damage have important role in solving environmental, social and economic conflicts. CORPI staff was highly involved in evaluation of damage to the local fishery and preparation of recommendations for compensation system of accidental oil spills and of sand dumping in the nearshore zone.
Coastal zone management and planning
Environmental information and experience of CORPI scientists is actively used for planning of the coastal zone development and undertaking management measures. Together with specialists from other Institutes including Lithuanian Geology Survey, Vilnius University, institute of Geology and Geography, “The Geological atlas of the Lithuanian Coast of the Baltic sea” was compiled. The atlas consists of digital maps including a geological-geomorphologic map and a map of anthropogenic load, which serve as important background information for further regional planning.
Recently attention to the coast protection from erosion is steadily growing, since coastal degradation became highly intensive due to both natural environment changes and intense human activities. Therefore seeking to restore damaged coastal areas “Coastal Zone Management Program” is currently implemented. CORPI is also involved in projects focused on evaluation of sand resources and their efficient use for the coastal zone management as well as assessment of newly planned hydrotechnical installations. These projects are conducted in close cooperation with scientists from Polish and German Universities using modern hydroacoustic and underwater video methodologies as well as computer simulations.