CONTRA - The sustainable management of beach wrack in the Baltic Sea Region

Beach wrack is the organic material that washes ashore - e.g. torn off seaweed and brown algae. It is often a nuisance to coastal communities and beachgoers. Coastal communities, particularly of tourist resorts, are put under intense pressure to comply with demands to collect and remove it. Current beach cleaning practices are costly to communities and are often in conflict with environmental protection.

The aim of CONTRA (Conversion of a Nuisance to a Resource and Asset) is to collect and disseminate knowledge about sustainable management of beach wrack. For this purpose, the ecological, social and economic effects of collection and use options are examined and evaluated in six case studies. Possible uses of beach wrack would be: as a fertilizer or soil conditioner, for bio coal, as an algae bio cover for landfills, for coastal protection and dune formation, for biogas production and treatment to improve water quality. The German pilot studies are the Baltic Sea resorts of Sellin and Breege-Juliusruh and the Island of Poel, which are also associated project partners. The project is developing a 'Tool Kit' for management and recycling options that will ensure that all communities in the Baltic Sea Region can reconcile tourist demands for clean beaches with environmental protection. An international network of stakeholders aims to promote knowledge sharing and raise community awareness.

The EUCC-D activities will focus on educating the communities and local authorities on the sustainable management of beach wrack. Information materials should help to spread the important role it plays within the beach ecosystem. Furthermore, socio-economic effects are also examined and evaluated.

The project is coordinated by the University of Rostock. In addition, authorities, companies, universities and NGOs from six countries (DK, DE, EE, PL, SE, RU) from the areas of marine systems, coastal tourism, sustainable development and administrative structures in the Baltic Sea region are involved.

Duration: January 2019 - June 2021

Sponsor: EU Interreg B Program 2014-2020, Regional Development Fund – ERDF



- Project Flyer
- Project Rollup


Beach Wrack Cycles and Consequences of Beach Wrack Removal (pdf)

Beach Wrack Dunes (pdf)

Beach Wrack Fences (pdf)


1-2019 Neues Projekt zu Treibselmanagement

3-2019  Workshop zu Klimawandel & Treibsel

4-2019  Befragungen zu Treibsel am Strand

5-2019 Forum zu Klimawandelanpassung & Treibsel

5-2019  CONTRA Partnertreffen in Tallinn

5-2020  CONTRA-Partner berichten auf Poel

6-2020  Workshop zu Treibsel im Küstenschutz

3-2021  Beach Wrack Netzwerk gegründet

4-2021  Interview: Management von Strandanwurf

6-2021  Sandfangzaun aus Treibsel


Coastline Reports 26-2019: Seegras und Treibsel – altbekannte Strandressource neu entdeckt (pdf)

Chubarenko, B., et al.: Converting beach wrack into a resource as a challenge for the Baltic Sea (an overview). Ocean & Coastal Management, 105413. DOI: 10.1016/j.ocecoaman.2020.105413 Link
Policy Briefs

Project Documentation

Stakeholder Coordination Strategy (EN) pdf

Project Communication Plan (EN) pdf

Treibsel Arbeitsgruppe MV Überblick pdf

Beach wrack for Coastal protection in MV

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