Beach wrack – a natural resource with potential

Type: 
Internship position (12 ECTS)
programme: 
EMBC+
EUCC – The Coastal Union Germany e.V., or EUCC-Germany for short, promotes integrated coastal zone management (ICZM) and the sustainable development of coasts and seas in Germany. To this end, the EUCC-Germany provides information, consultation, knowledge, and education around Germany in addition to arranging workshops and leading demonstration projects. EUCC-Germany provides a voice for German ICZM activities in Europe and bridges the gap between science, practice, and the public. Working with a large variety of coastal stakeholders, beach wrack was identified as one of the major problems for municipalities at the German Baltic Sea. Beach wrack mainly consists of sea weed and algae which have been washed up along the shore, but it can also include other organic materials, flotsam and marine litter. In touristic coastal areas the beach wrack is removed from the beaches during the high season, due to tourist’s expectations of a clean beach. Removing the beach wrack poses a range of challenges – for the municipalities and other involved stakeholders, but also the ecosystem: • Beach wrack removal is a significant cost factor and an organizational challenge for municipalities (as soon as the wrack is lifted from the beach, it is considered as organic waste and needs to be disposed accordingly  transport, storage, cleaning, drying and waste disposal) • Through the process of beach wrack removal, a lot of sand is removed from the beach • Beach wrack no longer serves as an important habitat for invertebrate animals, providing prey for fish and seabirds • It no longer provides biological functions (e.g. supply of nutrients: organic carbon, nitrates and phosphates) and physical functions (influencing the beach topography, coastal protection by reducing the wave energy, preventing the wind induced sand transport processes and supporting the formation of coastal dunes) • The natural resource is not further utilized, due to a lack of coordination and uncertainties, thus it is not sustainable These are issues EUCC-Germany wants to counteract and thus support the sustainable use of the marine resource. Possible tasks of an intern could include field and desk research, the development of communication and awareness raising measures for beach wrack or stakeholder analysis. EUCC-Germany offers its interns self-responsible, interesting work in a dedicated team and an insight view into the work of a non-governmental organization (NGO).
prerequisites: 
• Student in the field of environmental management, marine resource development and protection, ecology (or another relevant field of study) • Ability to work in a team • Good communication and soft skills
Number of students: 
1
academic year: 
2016-2017
2017-2018
Contact person email: 
contact person first name: 
Leoni
contact person last name: 
Herhaus
Reference Number: RP-48041