Day 2: Environmental bike campaign at the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland

Day 2: Environmental bike campaign at the Baltic coast of Germany and Poland
On August 7 the Baltic Green Belt bike campaign was launched, the starting point being the old Warnemunde lighthouse not far from the coastal city of Rostock, Germany. Many roads in coastal area are flooded, which may be partly caused with climate change. In Stralsund BUND organized a Green Belt information action where Friends of the Baltic presented our new booklet entitled Together we act to save the Baltic Sea.

Day one.
On August, 7 the Baltic Green Belt team was ready for the start despite the heavy rain. We gathered at the ancient lighthouse in Warnemunde.
 затопленной дороге.JPGFor the official tour start BUND Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania invited Michael Cramer, the founder of the Iron Curtain Trail project. This trail is a good example of how remnants of the Cold War times can be used as a base for nature friendly tourism. Cramer made this a reality and expanded the idea to the European level. Together with numerous partners along the Iron Curtain trail he again compiled sights and stories related to the Cold War history and drafted a trail all across Europe – all along the European Green Belt. He published three guide books for Northern, Central and Southern Europe.
Having crossed Warnow river we directed our bikes towards the shore. Although we didn’t manage to see everything as it was planned. The closer to the shore the larger territories appeared flooded as the result of recent heavy rainfall. The roads through meadows and the marshland turned to a sort of lakes. We had to turn back many times, favoring a better road before a beautiful landscape.

We were lucky to visit the famous coastal forest of Rostock which will soon become a piece of National Heritage by the decision of the City Council. The forest protection program is one of the significant achievements in the field of German nature conservation. There have been attempts to buy out this forest and convert it into a hunting area. In that case nature would be severely disturbed. Environmental organizations stand against private property on forest land and actively support the decision to make this a National Heritage site.
In this part of the coast artificial dunes are constructed. They have protected the coastal road from flooding. In the past years the road has been more exposed to floods, but environmentalists proposed not to renovate the dunes anymore. This would solve three issues: natural near-bottom coastal ecosystems would not be disturbed, Rostock will save money on regular dune renovation and the coastal forest will develop the natural way.
Our destination for this day was Stralsund, to which we arrived via the old forests with huge pine trees and white sands, having escaped the rain.
Many roads in coastal area are flooded, which may be partly caused with climate change.

Day two
The next day of the bike campaign began with a visit to Ozeaneum, a local museum dedicated to the sea and all things marine, which may be compared to the Hermitage in terms of the length of lines to the entrance. The museum is a sort of an oceanarium based on Baltic realities, as the flora and fauna of our sea and other cold seas is very popular in this part of Germany.
Our goal was not only to see the exhibits but also to hold and information action. BUND prepared an information stand about the Baltic Green Belt in order to tell Ozeaneum visitors about the Baltic Sea environment and its issues. Among the showcased materials were publications by Coalition Clean Baltic, and Friends of the Baltic were there to present our newest publication called Together we act to save the Baltic Sea.
The road from Stralsund to Greifswald lied through rye and poppy fields and numerous wind power installations that produce clean energy for Germany day and night. It is worthwhile remembering that Germany is on the European forefront of wind energy production.
On the way we were caught by thunderstorm with heavy rain, thunder, lightning and a crazy wind for the full package. Nevertheless we could hardly remember this afterwards, while having dinner together at night.

Tatiana Artemova (Association of Environmental Journalists of St.Petersburg), Olga Senova (Friends of the Baltic), tel.: +7 921 9117986
Friends of the Baltic
Address: 21, Chebyshevskaya 14/1, 198504, St.Petersburg, Russia
Tel/fax: +7 812 4280658
Tel. mob.: +7 921 9117986

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