Baltic Beach Wrack - Conversion of a Nuisance To a Resource and Asset

January 2019 -
June 2021

2. Natural resources 2.1 Clear waters


The CONTRA project compiles the knowledge required for sustainable management of beach wrack in the Baltic Sea Region and carries out case studies for beach wrack treatment. Beach wrack is organic material washed ashore, e.g. torn off sea grass or brown algae. It can cover Baltic Sea beaches for weeks after storms, rotting into a smelly soup and leaking nutrients back into the water. Managing beach wrack is an issue for local authorities and the tourism industry, in particular of the western and southern Baltic Sea.

Wrack management for clean beaches

The CONTRA project aims to change how coastal municipalities perceive and deal with beach wrackand to help develop the knowledge required for its sustainable treatment as part of coastal water management. The project compiles a tool-kit of options for removing and using beach wrack in a useful manner. The tool-kit is meant to help municipalities along the Baltic Sea coast to balance tourists’ demands for clean beaches with environmental protection.

Balancing opposing interests and identifying economic opportunities

Current practices to collect beach wrack create a financial burden for local communities. The methods used to collect and dispose of beach wrack, are also often in direct conflict with measures to safeguard the environment. To address this conflict and to balance opposing interests, CONTRA conducts a fair and comprehensive evaluation of all environmental, social and economic aspects of beach wrack management at six case study sites. This evaluation includes ecological impacts of beach wrack collection, to industrial cycles of beach wrack processing and value chains of beach wrack based products or services. Potential products and services include fertilizer, soil improvers, biochar, biocover, coastal protection, biogas production and water quality improvement

A beach wrack cooperation network

The project establishes an international network for knowledge exchange, capacity building, awareness raising and promotion of low-treatment or no-treatment options for beach wrack. The consortium comprises of public authorities, businesses, academia and NGOs coming from six countries (Denmark, Germany, Estonia, Poland, Sweden, Russia). Thematically the consortium covers marine systems, coastal tourism, sustainable development as well as administrative structures of the Baltic Sea region.


€ 2.57
€ 1.92
Eni + Russia
€ 0.08
€ 0.00



Project manager

University of Rostock

Hendrik Schubert

4 903 814 986 070

Legal representative

University of Rostock

Jan Tamm

49 0381 498 1014

Financial manager

University of Rostock

Katrin Thiel

49 0381 498 1521

Communication manager

EUCC - Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V.

Jane Hofmann

00 493 815 197 279