A new online resource compiling
data reported by HELCOM countries on input of nutrients to the Baltic Sea has recently
been made available to the public. Hosted by the Baltic Nest Institute, the HELCOM PLC-Water database is now open to all and offers annual data on
nutrient loads collected by HELCOM pollution load compilations (PLC) since 1995.
Recent HELCOM assessments show that land-based pollution remains the major environmental pressure
on the Baltic Sea marine ecosystem. Land-based sources are responsible for the large
share of total discharges into the sea both nutrients and hazardous substances.
compilations (PLC) are carried out by all HELCOM countries to evaluate and
quantify the amount of pollutants annually discharged from land into the sea.
The data is obtained from national monitoring programmes and reporting from
industries and municipal water works.
Data on airborne
deposition of nitrogen and selected hazardous substances specifically provided
by the European Monitoring and Evaluation Programme
(EMEP) for the HELCOM area are published as Baltic
Sea Environmental Fact Sheets (BSEFs).
Another important HELCOM
work to help visualizing data on environmental pressures in the Baltic Sea region
is the HELCOM Map and Data service (MADS). A new section is now specifically dedicated
to land-based sources of sea pollution.
It contains several interactive
maps illustrating major direct pollution sources as well as distribution of diffuse loads in the Baltic Sea catchment area. It also maps
information on transboundary rivers, location of monitoring stations and others.