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Röttger, A., Löser, N., Schernewski, G.. Wirkungsbeziehungen zwischen Küste und Einzugsgebiet der Oder. In: Schernewski, G., Glaeser, B., Scheibe, R., Sekścińska, A., Thamm, R. (eds.). Coastal Development: The Oder estuary and beyond. Coastline Reports (8), pp. 79-88. EUCC - The Coastal Union, Leiden, 2007.


Interactions between the Odra river basin and its adjacent coastal waters

During the last decade it has been internationally recognized that there are important interactions between river basins and their adjacent coastal areas. Especially the coastal areas are strongly affected by the river discharge. Therefore an integrated river basin and coastal area management is needed. First approaches have been made by the UNEP ICARM initiative (United Nations Environmental Programme - Integrated River and Coastal Area Management). In this initiative the approaches for an integrated coastal area management are connected with the approaches for an integrated river basin management. It can be considered as a guideline for cooperation between the adjoining states of the coastal area and the river basin. Furthermore the importance of a common approach of coastal zone and river basin is reflected in the European Water Framework Directive and in the demand of the European Union for creating a Natura 2000 network. The coastal waters of the Szczecin Lagoon are mainly influenced by the discharge and the nutrient loads of the Odra River. Besides technical changes for shipping and flood control measures, other anthropogenic uses of the Odra River have an impact on the ecosystem and the water supply in the Odra estuary. The coastal waters are also affected by storm waters from the Baltic Sea while the coastal waters itself have an impact on the Odra River. Overall there are four main interactions between the Odra river basin and the Odra estuary: “eutrophication and water quality”, “flooding”, “shipping and technical measures” and “animal invaders and species migration” (Schernewski et al. 2005). All of them cause serious problems in the coastal waters and especially in the Szczecin Lagoon. In the present paper the main interactions between the coastal waters and the Odra River are discussed and illustrated. The results are based on an extensive internet and literature research (Röttger 2006). Own data has not been collected, while an important background for the following analysis are the results of (Schernewski et al. 2005) and (Löser & Sekścińska 2005). The present paper shows that for acting effectively it takes both, cooperation between the river basin and the coastal region and cooperation between the adjoining states Germany, Poland and Czech Republic (Röttger 2006). In addition to the establishment of administrative communications between the river basin and the coastal regions, an overall data and information network has to be created. The danger of flood waters in the Odra estuary is expected to increase in the next years. This is due to the rising sea level in combination with the descending coastline and extremer Odra flood waters caused by the ongoing climate change. In order to counteract this thread, actions against the danger of flood waters in the Odra estuary have to be defined by all parties involved immediately, compare Röttger 2006, Löser & Sekścińska 2005. This is necessary to provide enough time for local authorities to implement the planned measures in time. As analysed within the INTERREG project “OderRegio”, the following actions against flood waters in the Odra estuary could be taken. The influence of large hydro-engineering activities, e.g. for shipping, on the flood water risk, especially for the coastal areas, should be investigated. In addition, the effectiveness of countermeasures such as the creation of retention areas in the course of the Odra River or the deconstruction of dykes, should be thoroughly analysed with special regard to the flooding risk in the Odra estuary. In coastal areas exhibiting an especially high flooding risk, adequate measures of protection, such as the construction of dykes, have to be taken.

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