The objective of the BalticReed Project is to recycle nutrients from eutrophicated coastal waters of the Baltic Sea to land. At the same time, the project promotes the sustainable utilisation of reed biomass as a raw material for diverse purposes, for example replacing peat.
A thick reedbed binds significant amount of nutrients: a hectare of reedbed can contain 10 kg of phosphorus, 100 kg of nitrogen, and more than 2 tonnes of organic carbon. When the reeds are mowed and the reed biomass is utilised in e.g. growing media, soil improvement, or bedding materials, large amounts of nutrients are removed from the coastal waters. Thus, reed harvesting, when planned in synergy with nature conservation needs, provides a cost-effective measure for reducing nutrient reserves in Baltic Sea coastal ecosystems, and supports and supplements other ongoing activities aiming at improving the state of the Baltic Sea.
Although the project focuses on nutrient removal, recycling and sustainable use of reed, financial sustainability of reed-based value chains is also essential for achieving the long-term nutrient reduction targets.
By engaging companies, communities, and environmental authorities in the participating countries into the development of concrete pilot value-chains, BalticReed seeks to accelerate the utilization and further processing of the reed biomass; to boost harvesting entrepreneurship; and to build business models that allows us to utilize reedbeds sustainably and in a market-driven manner.
In addition to nutrient removal, harvesting of thick reedbeds helps to enhance biodiversity by restoring the valuable, endangered coastal biotopes like the seaside meadows, coastal wetlands and submerged habitats, that are deteriorated by eutrophication and reed overgrowth. Opening up the impenetrable reed thickets also adds to the recreational use options of the seashore.
Duration 01.05.2023 - 30.04.2026
Programme priorityImproved environment and resource use
Programme objectivePO4 - Improved coastal and marine environment
Lead partnerJohn Nurminen Foundation