Transitional waters in Germany: the Elbe estuary as an example

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Abstract

  • 1.The requirements and approaches of the Water Framework Directive (WFD) are introduced and explained in the light of the strategies developed by the international conventions to protect the riverine and marine environment. In transitional and coastal waters the directive's aims and measures overlap with the programmes of measures and the existing monitoring requirements of the marine conventions (OSPAR, Helsinki, Barcelona Conventions). A harmonization of monitoring and assessment methods is needed to avoid duplication of work and extra costs.
  • 2.The physico-chemical, hydromorphological and biological characteristics of the Elbe transitional waters are described as basic information necessary for the ‘General Description’ required according to Article 5 of the WFD.
  • 3.The strengths of some of the biological quality elements for WFD monitoring in tidal estuaries are discussed.
  • 4.An overview of the monitoring programme routinely carried out by the Office of the Elbe River Water Quality Board is presented. Sampling by helicopter proved to be a useful method.
  • 5.A pilot surveillance monitoring programme is described which has been drafted for the tidal Elbe in order to provide a sound basis for surveillance monitoring as required by the WFD after 2006.

Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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