Living Lab Eckernförder Bucht 2030

Together with various stakeholders, the project partners want to develop perspectives for a sustainable utilisation of the Eckernförde Bucht. By using the methods of a living lab, the ecological relationships in the bay will be investigated and the protection of marine habitats will be expanded.

The project aims to reach four specific goals:

  • Creating a network for a stakeholder dialogue (e.g. agriculture, fisheries, tourism, municipalities, navy, sports)

  • Developing a catalogue of measures in order to reduce agricultural nutrient input, as well as estimating the potential of utilising nutrients from marine biomass in agriculture

  • Surveying the state of marine habitats in the bay

  • Examining the possibilities of nature-based coastal protection

These goals are closely linked to each other and contribute to overarching goals. One of them being the reduction of agricultural nutrient input into the Baltic Sea, the other one being the improved protection of marine habitats. Therefore, the 12-month project aims to establish the foundation of a multi-annual living-lab in which activities and measures can be tested and evaluated.

These measures are necessary steps to implement the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD). This directive was put in place to protect the marine ecosystem and biodiversity and aims to help EU countries achieve a good environmental status for marine ecosystems. Originally, the goal was to achieve a good environmental status by 2020.

Every scientific and public institution that has been actively engaged in the region for many years is represented in the project. The project wants to put the existing knowledge into action. The combination of research and stakeholder-dialogue aims to improve the ecological status of the region and improve the perspectives of the people living there. Thus, the project combines interdisciplinary research with transdisciplinary communication and collective participation.



Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt




Dr. Christian Wagner-Ahlfs

1. Dialogue and project coordination

The projects’ success is closely linked to a proactive and constructive dialogue between stakeholders and project partners. Several meetings will take place to collect ideas and include the stakeholders’ knowledge in the ongoing planning.

Responsible: Center for Ocean and Society

2. Agriculture and algae culture

Synergies between nutrient management and coastal management will be considered. This area is subdivided into two parts. One of them examines the agricultural side and the other examines the maritime side. In order to improve the ecological status of the bay, the nutrient input should be reduced. In addition, the possibility of retrieving nutrients from waste biomass will be assessed. The research farm Lindhof is testing fertilizers made from marine biomass as an alternative to conventional fertilizers.

Responsible: Institute of Crop Science and Plant Breeding (CAU Kiel)

Algae can utilise an excess of nutrients in the water and the GEOMAR is investigating if algae cultivation is a good option to reduce the nutrient load in the bay. Moreover, the GEOMAR is assessing in what ways the obtained biomass can be further utilised.

Responsible: Research division marine biogeochemistry and marine ecology (GEOMAR)

3. Assessment of marine habitats

Data on relevant biotypes and species that are found in the bay will be compiled. In the next step this data will be evaluated based on quality, technical accuracy, age and other characteristics. The data will be set into context with how the different habitats are being used and how they are affected by conflicts of use. It will be the foundation for developing specific recommendations (e.g. which areas to use and how, areas for renaturation, creating areas in which specific species can spread).

Responsible: BioConsult Schuchardt & Scholle GbR

4. Coastal protection

The current coastal protection measures will be assessed and evaluated regarding their environmental impacts. Different coastal protection structures can be found in the bay (e.g. sea walls, groynes, dykes, dunes). Alternative options for nature-based coastal protection will be proposed, which can ensure an improved protection of marine habitats.

Responsible: Geographical Institute (CAU Kiel)

Project partners

Kiel University (Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel):

CRM - Coastal Research & Management GbR:

Dr. Monika Kock, Dr. Peter Krost, Dr. Sven Petersen

Bioconsult Schuchardt & Scholle GbR:

Dr. Friederike Prowe

Fraunhofer-Institute for Computer Graphics Research IDG:

Dr. Kristine Bauer

GEOMAR - Helmholtz-Centre for Ocean Research Kiel:

LLUR State Agency for Agriculture, Environment and Rural Areas:

Dr. Rolf Karez, Elisabeth Bruggaier

MELUND Ministry of Energy Transition, Agriculture, Environment, Nature and Digitalisation:

Dr. Christine Wenzel, Franziska Junge

Final Report