The Schlei estuary is a Baltic Sea inlet located in the northern part of Schleswig-Holstein. It exhibits a high nutrient load and poor ecological condition due to decades of pollution from agricultural and municipal sources, combined with a rather slow water exchange. The high nutrient concentration facilitates the growth of phytoplankton, which can trigger a strong cyanobacteria bloom in midsummer. This, in turn, can be hazardous to human health as well.
That’s why an upcoming project funded by the regional ministry for the environment focuses on the reduction of nutrient input, particularly of nitrogen and phosphorus. Nutrient concentration will be measured using both stationary and mobile optical sensors that provide data in a high spatial and temporal resolution. Measurements will focus on the Füsinger Au, which is the largest inflow into the river Schlei. The collected data will be automatically transmitted and visualised in real time, in order to create a dense monitoring network.
The study, which NatureConnect is commissioned to carry out, aims to explore the potential of new approaches to digital water monitoring in Schleswig-Holstein. The outcomes can later be used to establish a holistic water monitoring concept that helps to reduce nutrient pollution and adhere to the regulations set out by the European Water Framework Directive.
Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons / Kommentator1989 – thank you very much!