Conversion of a Nuisance to a Resource and Asset

Beach Wrack - How do we best protect the environment whilst also meeting the public’s demand for ‘clean’ beaches?

Beach wrack plays an important role for beach ecosystems and coastal protection. But, when it lands in great quantities on recreational beaches it is seen as a ‘dirty’ nuisance which is costly to remove. To find a balance between opposing interests, CONTRA is working at 6 case study sites to conduct a fair and sound evaluation of the environmental as well as economic and social aspects. Local authorities need this knowledge to enable them to safeguard our beaches, to reduce the economic burden on coastal communities and to ensure that disposal and recycling options are environmentally sound and worthwhile.

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  • CONTRA Final Conference Documentation

    Thank you to all participants of the CONTRA final conference “Converting beach wrack into a resource and asset – towards sustainable solutions for beach wrack use“, 1-2 June 2021 Ecologists, entrepreneurs, beach managers, policy makers and other partners from Germany, Poland, Sweden, Estonia, Russia and Denmark attended to showcase beach wrack management, and use options recently […]

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  • How can we use problematic beach wrack in a more sustainable way?

    Over the past two and half years, CONTRA has conducted a total of seven case studies in the Baltic Sea Region to further develop knowledge on how it can be used sustainably as a natural resource. The case studies have included investigations into existing and more traditional uses like fertilizers and soil improvement products but […]

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  • CONTRA Final Conference – 1-2 June 2021 – REGISTRATION OPEN!

    We hope you will join us for the “CONTRA Final Conference” event, which will take place on the 1-2 June 2021 as an online event (free of charge). The event will give you the opportunity to inform yourself about beach wrack management and reuse options, discuss challenges and solutions with practitioners and build up networks […]

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  • CONTRA featured at COASTAL Biogas 4th Conference

    On December 9th, 2020 the “Biogas and digestate from cast seaweed – regulations and policies – COASTAL Biogas 4th conference” of our sister project COASTAL Biogas took place in form of an online conference. On this occasion, Jane Hofmann (EUCC-D, Die Küsten Union Deutschland e.V.) presented the CONTRA project and was also involved in the […]

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  • Review – Linnaeus ECO-TECH ’20 and CONTRA session

    Eco-Tech is calling on researchers and industry to work together to ensure benefits from a rapidly expanding society were students will work with professional scientists and become scientist themselves by observing and recoding real-life data. The plan calls for action on promoting closer partnerships between industry and the research sector to ensure the Baltic region […]

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  • Community building and networking in the Baltic Bioeconomy

    On Wednesday, 2 December 2020 the event “Beach Wrack in the Bioeconomy” was arranged by the CONTRA partner Krinova Incubator and Science Park. Over 60 attendees had joined the event eager to build their network, get up-to-date information on Beach Wrack issues and start new collaborations. The event was nicely framed by Jessica Hjerpe Olausson […]

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  • CONTRA article published in the journal “Ocean and Coastal Management”

    We are pleased to announce that the article ‘Converting beach wrack into a resource as a challenge for the Baltic Sea (an overview)’ (B. Chubarenko et al., 2020) has finally been published. The paper discusses research questions related to beach wrack management and economically viable uses. It presents beach wrack recycling examples from Denmark (Køge […]

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  • Linnaeus ECO-TECH ’20 – Book of abstracts available

    On 23 – 25 November 2020 the “12th International conference on establishment of cooperation between companies and institutions in the Nordic countries, the Baltic Sea region and the world”, organised by Linnaeus University (Kalmar, Sweden), took place. Among others, a session about beach wrack was organised with participation from selected CONTRA partners. More information about […]

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  • Register now for the CONTRA Networking Event “Beach Wrack in the Bioeconomy”!

    We hope you will join us for the “Beach Wrack in the Bioeconomy” event, which we will hold on the 2 December 2020, 13:00-16:00 CET. Look at the agenda of the event for more details on the programme and register here.

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  • Beach Wrack Compost to Mitigate Methane Emissions?

    CONTRA project partner, the University of Southern Denmark has started a trial to test if compost made out of beach wrack can be used to mitigate methane emissions. This is a part of the CONTRA case study in Køge Municipality looking to see if beach wrack compost can be used as a ‘biocover’ on old […]

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  • The Effect of Mechanical Beach Cleaning on Wildlife

    The University of Rostock has been researching the impact that mechanical beach cleaning has on local wildlife, particularly coastal birds. Four different managed beaches along the German Baltic Sea coast (Zingst peninsula, Warnemünde, Poel Island and Scharbeutz) were compared with unmanaged areas and a reference area, the nature reserve Langenwerder Island. A general quantification of […]

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  • CONTRA research activities on German television

    As reported earlier, students of the University of Rostock has been researching the impact that mechanical beach cleaning has on local wildlife, particularly coastal birds along the German Baltic Sea coast. Activities were filmed and are now shown on German television as part of the NDR programme “Landpartie” (German language, min. 37:30).

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  • Contra logo.

    CONTRA and beach wrack in the media

    CONTRA project partners Linnaeus University in Sweden as well as University of Rostock and Hanseatic Environment CAM GmbH in Germany actively promotes CONTRA and the topic of turning beach wrack to a resource and asset in the national, regional and local media. Read the local newspaper article here: (in Swedish). The national newspaper article […]

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  • Institute of Oceanology of Russian Academy of Science logo.

    Beach wrack residence time successfully monitored by the Institute of Oceanology Russian Academy of Sciences

    Knowledge of the beach wrack residence time on the seashore is an important aspect when it comes to understanding its role in coastal ecosystems and the potential of its prosperous utilization. The research team of the Institute of Oceanology RAS carry out the periodical expeditions at the seashore of Kaliningrad Oblast (Russia). In doing so, […]

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  • Island of Poel provides fresh beach wrack for composting trials

    With the tourists’ return, the municipality Spa Administration on the Island of Poel in northern Germany, has also started to prepare the island’s beaches for the summer season. In the last few days, large quantities of fresh beach wrack have been collected by the building yard employees of the municipality. In parallel, Hanseatic Environment CAM […]

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  • On The Road to Recovery of Organic Waste into a Growth Substrate – Öland, Sweden

    Beach wrack refers to the piles of seagrass, reeds, and marine algae that are found alongside beaches worldwide and are most commonly associated with sandy beaches. As a natural phenomenon, in 2017 Macredie et al., defined the beach wrack as accumulated detritus of organic material that is washed up and laying on tidally, windy, and […]

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  • CONTRA partners held online meeting on soil improvement products

    German and Swedish CONTRA partners KS-VTCtech GmbH, Hanseatische Umwelt, Linnaeus University and Krinova Incubator and Sience Park met online to discuss ways of making soil improvement products from beach wrack. This is nothing new: spreading beach wrack on fields is a long-term practice that has been part of agriculture for hundreds of years. The aim […]

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  • CONTRA online partner meeting mastered

    Due to the current challenging situation, CONTRA has conducted its partner meeting on the 25th and 26th of March online via video-conferencing instead of meeting in person in Odense, Denmark as originally planned. For cooperation projects, such as CONTRA, COVID-19 means that all of a sudden undertakings planned and scheduled with great care and commitment […]

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  • Beach wrack as an inspiration for the development of subsequent water projects

    On the 12-13th of February, 2020, stakeholders from the Euroregion Baltic Water Core Group, Polish partners, as well as other partners from the CONTRA and Umbrella project convened for a joint event in Elblag (Poland). The focus of the two-day event, including a study visit, was on “water” and “water management”. Its aim was to […]

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  • CONTRA partners contribute to Coastline Reports

    The Coastline Reports is a journal that serves the dissemination of project and conference results with a focus on coastal management and coastal research. It has been published by EUCC-Germany (project partner of CONTRA) in concert with EUCC-International since 2004. The current Coastline Reports 26, from the German national project POSIMA,  focussed on  “Seagrass and […]

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  • Learn more about On-Site Treatment with Reed Beds Towards Fertilizer Amendments

    Project partner, Gdańsk University of Technology (Department Water and Waste-Water Technology, Faculty of Civil And Environmental Engineering) prepared a paper on “Solving the Beach Wrack Problems by On-Site Treatment with Reed Beds Towards Fertilizer Amendments” to present aspects of the complex problems of beach wrack as well as potential solutions to solve them in accordance […]

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  • Cane growing in a box with sand.

    “Fertiwrack case study” takes a leap forward

    As one of the major pillars of the CONTRA project a total of seven case studies are conducted to further develop existing reuse options and to explore new and innovative recycling possibilities. Against this background, on 26 October 2019 a pilot facility was built under case study 6b- FERTIWRACK. The case study is led by […]

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  • People ar conference hall.

    Beach wrack – a problem shared is a problem halved

    On 21 October 2019, stakeholders from the German states of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern (M-V) and Schleswig-Holstein (S-H) came together in Lübeck-Travemünde for a joint symposium on beach wrack management. Results from the S-H project ‘Pilot Region Baltic Sea Coast Schleswig-Holstein: Initiation of a beach wrack value chain as a measure to adapt to climate change‘ (POSIMA) were […]

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Upcoming Events

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Beach Wrack Management

Mechanical impact as well as disturbance of succession processes are altering managed beaches to an extent that raises concerns for long-term consequences. It is vital that we fully understand the impact of intensive mechanical cleaning on habitats and beach morphology.


Turning a problem into a resource

When beach wrack quantities are problematic, local authorities need realistic, cost effective and sustainable recycling options. A number of promising possibilities, ranging from energy conversion to support material for coastal protection measures are being tested to gain knowledge about their service and economic potential.



CONTRA provides a platform for discussion and exchange on all aspects of beach wrack. Main topics include:

  • Beach ecology
  • Beach cleaning techniques
  • Ecosystem services
  • Marine resource management
  • Eutrophication and nutrient remediation
  • Water pollution
  • Legislation and policy
  • Socio-Economics
  • Coastal protection
  • Climate change

Beach Wrack management is costly and recycling possibilities often fraught with challenges.

Start 01.01.2019
End 30.06.2021
Total Budget in €
Programme co-financing
(RU+ENI incl.)
All partners


The CONTRA partners are from Germany, Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Russia and Estonia. The project runs from 2019 to 2021 and is supported financially by the European Regional Development Fund, ERDF.