A new study about the coastal waters of Finland

A new study on the quality of coastal waters in the Gulf of Finland shows that their eutrophication cannot be explained by the waste load from St Petersburg; the cause is emissions originating in Finland.

It has been common knowledge for some time that the wastewater from St Petersburg via the River Neva is by far the greatest single cause of pollution in the Gulf of Finland. Over half the nitrogen load and 75 percent of the phosphorus load comes from Russia. The load from St Petersburg and the Neva mixes with the surface waters and spreads over the Gulf of Finland especially in winter.

Seasonal differences in the quality of coastal waters could not, however, be detected in the study: Finnish emissions are the dominant factor, both in summer and winter.

The study suggests that the Finnish coastal waters can only be cleaned by reducing domestic emissions. The major emission sources in coastal Finland are the Vantaanjoki and Kymijoki rivers and the coastal industry and cities.

Published in the international journal Hydrobiologia, the study was conducted by Kaarina Weckström, researcher, and Professor Atte Korhola from the University of Helsinki and Petri Shemeikka, researcher, from the Finnish Environment Institute.

11.6.2003


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