Reduced sediment load in Sweden
The situation of the Baltic Sea has a high priority in Sweden.
Today, excessive nutrient inputs from human activities have unacceptable effects on the water quality. Although, the largest input can be associated with wastewater and industrial effluents and agricultural runoff, also forest land and forestry contribute. About 48 percent of the Baltic Sea basin is covered by forest.
Generally the impact of forestry on soils and waters are largest at the local scale. The impact of one single forestry operation decreases at increasing spatial scale. Nevertheless, effects at the local scale may move on to larger scales, depending on the parameter in question. Since forestry operates on the small scale it is important to use best available practice.
The sediment load can be reduced
In Sweden we have identified sediment transports from logging operations as one major problem regarding water quality. Elevated sediment loads may increase the amount of suspended matter, nutrient load, and mercury export to water and deteriorate spawning beds for fish. The sediment load can be reduced by better logging planning leading to
- less rutting
- establishing functional buffer zones
- developing better tools for ditch maintenance.
Within the WAMBAF project these aspects will be at focus and new guidelines will, if needed be produced, demonstrated and communicated.