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Regional administration of lake restoration initiatives (LakeAdmin)
Start date: Dec 31, 2011, End date: Dec 30, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The economic values of clean and safe water are well established. Lakes, ponds and reservoirs can provide water for drinking, irrigation, recreation, fish, natural and cultural values and other ecosystem services. Domestic and national tourism in lake districts are often of high local and regional economical importance. However, in spite of remarkable investments in wastewater treatment, the quality of many waters is still under pressure of external loading from agriculture and other diffuse sources. These are tackled in the River Basin Management Plans of the Water Framework Directive. Internal loading from sediments and changes in food-web structure also affect the water quality and these problems can be tackled by management and restoration measures in the lakes. The Interreg IIIC project LakePromo in 2004-2007 presented an overview of restoration practices. However, in planning concrete measures there is also need to review the experiences of case studies in more detailLake-Admin aims to improve the effectiveness of regional development policies related to water management, specially in the field of lake, pond and reservoir restoration and management;1. Share and transfer of good water management practices for better water quality and improved usability2. Mainstream programmes in each participating regions by developing tangible Implementation Plans which help to adopt good practices in preparing Operational Programmes. 3. Compile good practices and European Lake Restoration Archive of reality-examples into open access guidance material.4. Recognize the European dimension and expand project mission beyond partner regions considering the new lake standards set by the Water Framework Directive.For most EU states environmental standards for lakes within WFD are new and the obligations to protect or restore are a new and significant challenge. To improve status of lakes in the given time-scales requires us to share all our existing knowledge and experience. Lake-Admin offers an additional, locally focused route to WFD compliance. Ten partners in cooperation with the Managing Authorities and intermediate bodies from nine countries establish a firm basis and wide geographical coverage to capitalize good practices to have truly European-wide added value. Both the leading regions in lake restoration expertise (like Finland, Denmark, Czech, Hungary) and areas with less-experience and often scarcity of fresh water (like Malta, Greece, Italy) are represented. All participating regions have detected lakes as important elements in their regional development policies. In Lake-Admin they will transfer the identified good practices to regional Implementation Plans. Achievements: The Kick-off meetings for the project and the seminar (Opening conference) took place in Finland, at the premises of the Finnish Environment Institute in Helsinki, 2.-3.5.2012. All partners participated and provided presentations on their goals, aims and situation within lake restoration. As well, about interreg4c programs aims and goals were discussed and we found them applicable and achievable during the foreseen course of the LakeAdmin project. Especially we put attention on Good Practices (GPs) and how to drive the most suitable ones into Regional Implementation Plans. For this purpose the project has created a functional body called Lake Policy Advisory Board to provide a forum for lake experts to meet regional developers and policy makers for improving target setting within regional lake policies in using lakes better for regional economic development. The collection of GPs has been initiated. So far, we have identified 10 potential GPs and they address subjects like; applying multi-criteria assessments in comparison of lake restoration initiatives, reducing nutrient loads from scattered settlements, pressure (stressors) mapping in regional lake management planning, guidance for lake stakeholders on management planning, evaluation of the secondary losses of fish stock caused by protected piscivorous birds, bio-monitoring of status of water bodies, bio-manipulation of fish stock in improving water quality, lake restoration guidancebook in native language, biomarkers of environmental stress, and waste water management in small villages by on-site household treatment units. The process is still on-going and the target is to identify a pool of 20 potential, or needed GPs for future consideration. A study visit was made to Lake Vesijärvi in Lahti and Lake Tuusulanjärvi in the municipality of Tuusula on 4.5.2012. These lakes are among the most successful Finnish examples of water protection, lake restoration and water management. The lessons learnt from these case studies were told by experts who have long been working on these lakes; Even a significant reduction of sewage loading does not guarantee improvement in the state of the lake, the remaining external loading, as well as the internal loading must also be combatted. Also the need for long term action, good monitoring and good local network of public and private actors, authorities and stakeholders is needed. The pikeperch which was successfully reintroduced in the first restoration project of Lake Vesijärvi (1989-1994) and it is today the base of sustainable fishery in the lake. Projects internet site has been published. As well, the visual image of the project (logo and templates) was designed. LakeAdmin logo symbolizes the waves of water and blue-green colour tells that the overall goal of lake restoration is to achieve the excellent water quality (blue), instead of satisfactory water quality (green). Visual image aims at being light and accessible. For connecting the project to stakeholders, beneficiaries and people, a draft joint communication plan was prepared, including a tentative list of stakeholders. As well, the joint LakeAdmin brochure was printed for broad delivery plus three press releases published for the audiences in Finland, Malta and Italy; they all have already provided supportive feedback.
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