OVERVIEW OF THE CONTENTS AND TASKS OF THE DIFFERENT WORK PACKAGES WITHIN THE HARBASINS PROJECT AND THEIR PROJECT LEADERS. Work package 1: Harmonization River Basin Management Strategies Project leader: Christoph Reuther Within the framework of the WFD, WP1 deals with the key objective of HARBASINS to establish a proposal for the overall coordinated management and monitoring of coastal waters and estuaries with respect to integrated coastal zone management. During the first phase of the project an inventory was prepared of public authorities, scientific institutions and key individuals involved with the implementation of the WFD and coastal zone management. An analysis of the WFD implementation process throughout the different partner countries lead to the identification of similarities and differences between national approaches. As part of the research, an integrated monitoring and assessment concept is being prepared which takes into account the requirements of the various EU Directives together with other relevant Conventions such as OSPAR. The Trilateral Monitoring and Assessment Programme (TMAP) of the Wadden Sea acts as a pilot project and will deliver a monitoring handbook, which can be applied to other coastal areas. Within WP1, the insights and conclusions relating to WFD implementation, monitoring and assessment strategies will be integrated with the results of the other work packages concerning best practices of estuarine restoration, common instruments and data handling. The final output will include recommendations for adequate implementation of the WFD for individual river basins, together with recommendations for sound environmental management of interconnected coastal zones in the North Sea Region. Work package 2: Estuarine Ecosystem Functioning and Health Project leader: Prof. Mike Elliott WP2 aims to exchange knowledge and experiences between different regions in estuarine habitat status, use, loss and gain; with particular emphasis on restoration practices. The work package assesses the different approaches by regions in Europe with respect to legal implementation of European Directives, especially the Habitats and Water Framework Directives together with site specific management experiences which result in improved estuarine functioning and health. The work aims to improve conceptual knowledge of estuarine habitat function, particularly for fish communities, and provide an assessment of the ecological status of key habitats across Europe. The concept and application of managed realignment techniques and the impact of temporary barriers to fish movements are being explored, including those resulting from spatial or temporal decreases in water quality. In order to compare the effectiveness of different management strategies, the research is being undertaken in four selected estuarine and coastal ecosystems: the Humber Estuary (UK), the Scheldt Estuary (Belgium, The Netherlands), the Ems-Dollard Estuary (The Netherlands, Germany), and the Weser Estuary (Germany). Work Package 3: Trans River Basin Pollution Project leader: Hans Klamer WP3 centers on the chemical aspects of the WFD, particularly the priority substances, and addresses the question as to what extent individual river basin management can, or will, affect the wider status of a series of river basins linked by marine processes. The shared responsibility of EU Member States requires the measurement of reliable and directly comparable information for successful river basin management. This is particularly important for the European mainland where several Member States are involved in the management of individual riverine systems. Similarly, where the coastal zone is included within the wider system, further Member States will become involved. For instance although one country may be directly managing an entire river basin (such as the UK), within the context of the southern North Sea, it will be necessary to include adjacent countries and river basins such as Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark as these systems are interconnected by maritime physical processes such as tidal and/or residual currents and associated sediment transport. WP3 therefore aims to obtain reliable and comparable information by addressing a number of questions: how do Member States implement the WFD monitoring strategies? does the WFD monitoring and assessment methodology provide the required information, and are further adjustments required? are chemical compounds transported to/from adjacent river basins? Work package 4: Hydro morphological Pressures and Impacts Project leader: Hanz Niemeyer The WFD specifically relates to those waters which are man-made or have experienced significant anthropogenic impacts - the latter being referred to as ‘Heavily Modified Water Bodies (HMWB)’. In coastal areas and particularly in estuaries or areas such as the Wadden Sea, there is an absence of a suitable methodology for the objective identification of HMWB´s. As such, the aim of WP4 is to identify such areas using the application of morphodynamical models as a basis for the evaluation of comparable assessment criteria. Currently, the assessment criteria concentrates on the area of impact, but this approach may be insufficient when alterations to current regimes may affect salinity levels and sediment transport in areas outwith the immediate zone of impact, and the project therefore concentrates on the extension of the spatial scale of any assessment of impacts and stresses within a river basin. Ultimately, work package 4 aims to generate process-based knowledge on these effects by high-resolution mathematical modeling in combination with the analysis of hydro- and morphodynamical parameters. Agreement between these two approaches will allow for the evaluation of criteria for an appropriate identification of HMWB´s without recourse to extensive additional data gathering. Work Package 5: Overall Project Management and Knowledge Dissemination The objectives of WP5 are to communicate project aims and results with relevant stakeholders in the North Sea Programme region and to manage the HARBASINS project adequately and effectively. The activities of WP5 comprise the development of communication strategy, organizing grand meetings at start and ending of project; coordinating workshops of other work packages, the website, the coordination and deliverance of progress reports to the Interreg secretariat, promoting the coordination of activities, phases and products, if necessary, organization of advisory group meetings etc.
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