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Matter Cycles and Coastal Pollution

The global coastal seas form a narrow strip between the land and ocean. This transition zone is fluent in the south-east region of the North Sea. It is shaped by ebb and flood tides, currents and sea state as well as by changes in sea level. For the last thousand years, however, it has also been influenced by us humans. Large and small rivers continuously supply fresh water and sediment. In addition, river and atmospheric transport bring complex material mixtures from densely populated catchment areas to the biologically active coastal regions. These mixtures are then processed by living organisms and distributed by currents.

Changes in the river catchment areas and estuaries, in the coastal sea itself as well as in the adjacent ocean affect the various matter flows and conversion processes, and thus the environmental state of the rich ecosystems and the benefits we draw from them.

As a contribution to the program-oriented funding of the Helmholtz Association in the Research Field Earth and Environment, scientists at the Institute of Coastal Environmental Chemistry are working with other Hereon Institutes, the Helmholtz Coastal Data Center (HCDC), and their partners to develop the Coastal Pollution Toolbox.

"The Coastal Pollution Toolbox is a digital working environment and tool set to study contaminant, nutrient and carbon dynamics in temperate and polar coastal zones. It allows to structure investigations and to provide scientifically sound assessments and products to elucidate origin, effects, and mitigation options."

Access the Toolbox website for examples of user-oriented tools and the focus of development efforts.