The Oder estuary is the mouth of the Oder (Polish: Odra) river, one of the largest rivers in the Baltic region. It is located at the southern Baltic Sea (border between Germany and Poland).
Oder Lagoon: The coastal zone is dominated by the discharge of the river Oder (Odra) into the Szczecin (Oder) Lagoon. The large (687 km²) and shallow (average depth 3.8 m) Szczecin (Oder) Lagoon, is the key element of the Oder estuary region. The lagoon is subdivided into the “Kleines Haff”, located mainly on the German territory, and the “Wielki Zalew” on the Polish territory. The Wielki Zalew covers about 60 % of the lagoon area and volume.
Pomeranian Bay: The lagoon is connected to the Pomeranian Bay via three outlets. The bay is part of the Baltic Sea. The bay is influenced by the Oder River water, but intensive windinduced mixing and large-scale currents in the Baltic Sea dominate this system.
Oder River: is one of the most important transboundary rivers in the Baltic region. Many larger cities and industries are located in the river basin. The basin is under intensive agricultural use. Other major river basin – coastal area issues are flooding, shipping and technical measures as well as species migration.
Human ativities are tourism, agriculture, fishing and shipping. Impact responses are eutrophication, nutrient loading, bio-chemical pollution, habitat destruction, biodiversity loss.
- Impact of changes in land use and agriculture in the river basin on coastal water quality, consequences for coastal water management;
- Development of future land use scenarios, suggestion of concrete measures to reduce pollution and socioeconomic evaluation;
- Impact of climate changes on water discharge and nutrient load in the river basin, effect on coastal eutrophication, consequences for coastal water management and socioeconomic evaluation;
- Harmonization of the management approaches of Natura 2000, EU-ICZM recommendations and the Water Framework Directive;
- Drastic changes in agricultural intensity and practice in the Oder river basin after German reunification and political changes in Poland (from 1989 ongoing). Heavy impacts on nutrient loads and eutrophication were observed.
- Drastic changes in tourism and industry intensity after German reunification (1989) and political changes in Poland (from 1989 ongoing) as well as Poland’s membership in EU (2004).
- Changing social, economical and environmental gradients between Germany and Poland and increasing economic problems.
- Changes in agriculture intensity and nutrient loads due to the Polish EU memerbership.