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The Water Of the Curonian Lagoon Is Toxic
20.07.2014 10:11
The Water Of the Curonian Lagoon Is Toxic

The water of the Curonian Lagoon in Kaliningrad oblast has become dangerous due to toxic algae.

      The representatives of the “Curonian Spit” National Park explained that the warming of the recent days has led to a rapid increase in biomass and abundance of phytoplankton in the shallow coastal waters of the South-Eastern Baltic, in particular, in the coastal zone of the Curonian and Vistula Lagoons. It is explained that the composition of phytoplankton in the places of sampling is predominated by cyanobacteria (or blue-green algae), at that all kinds of blue-green algae found in appreciable quantities in the samples as of June 30, are assessed as potentially toxic, capable of generating toxic compounds of various physiological effect.

      Vacationers and residents of the settlements along the Curonian Spit must observe the safety rules: to keep children and pets away from the water, not to touch the green film on the water and on the coast, to wash hands thoroughly after a contact with water. The usual consequences after the contact of water with the skin are as follows: mucosa - allergic dermatitis, conjunctivitis; when ingested the algae can cause acute poisoning (sometimes fatal), diarrhea, vomiting, adversely affect the liver function upon chronic ingestion. It is also advised to refrain from catching and eating fish in the areas of the National Park where there microalgae bloom. 

      The Curonian Lagoon is a nontidal lagoon on the southeastern edge of the Baltic Sea, with an average depth of just 12 ft (3.8 m). The Neman River flows into the lagoon’s northern (Lithuanian) section, which discharges into the Baltic via a narrow channel, the Klaipeda Strait. While most of the lagoon consists of fresh water, seawater sometimes enters its northern part via the Klaipeda Strait following storms. In the past, the lagoon has suffered heavy pollution from sewage and industrial effluents, but attempts are now being made to address this problem. The lagoon is separated from the Baltic by the narrow, curved Curonian Spit, which is 60 miles (98 km) long. The spit is notable for its mature pinewoods and drifting barchans (sand dunes), some reaching a height of 200 ft (60 m), which extend for 20 miles (31 km) along the spit. The sandy beaches on the spit, together with vistas over the lagoon, woods, and drifting dunes, make it a tourist attraction, and in 2000 the entire spit was designated a UNESCO World Heritage site.




Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Kaliningrad Curonian Lagoon    

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