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Marine messages II

Marine messages II

25 Jun 2020

This report provides a set of key messages on the current use of Europe's seas and its combined effects on marine ecosystem condition. These messages underpin a set of lessons from marine ecosystem recovery from which solutions for a brighter future can be identified.

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European bathing water quality in 2019

Bathing is an extremely popular and important leisure activity in Europe. This annual assessment of European bathing sites shows how well environmental protection measures are implemented, allowing people to make informed decisions on where to go to best enjoy Europe’s inland and coastal bathing sites.

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Emerging chemical risks in Europe — ‘PFAS’

It is currently not possible to perform in-depth environmental and health risk assessments of all chemical substances in use in Europe because of the great variety of chemicals and their diverse uses. New and legacy chemicals continue to be released into Europe’s environment, adding to the total chemical burden on Europe’s citizens and ecosystems. Early identification of emerging risks is one of the activities of the European Environment Agency (EEA). This briefing summarises the known and potential risks to human health and the environment in Europe posed by a group of very persistent chemicals, the per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS).

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Nutrient enrichment and eutrophication in Europe's seas

This assessment explores whether Europe has been able to reverse eutrophication trends in its regional seas. The assessment is based on publicly available monitoring data, primarily collected in the context of the Water Framework Directive, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive and Regional Sea Conventions.

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Urban waste water treatment for 21st century challenges

It is easy to take water for granted. Clean water comes out of a tap, we use the water and then ‘dirty’ water disappears down the drain. In this way, the water that leaves our homes, schools and workplaces is contaminated. For most European citizens, such waste water is collected, transported and then treated at an urban waste water treatment plant, to remove components harmful to the environment and human health, before the water is returned to nature (EEA, 2018). The importance of access to clean water and sanitation is embedded in Goal 6 of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (UN, n.d). Supplying clean water and collecting waste water has required huge investment across Europe in recent decades. In this briefing, we show that challenges to securing sustainable water in future, such as climate change, present new opportunities for resource efficiency and improved environmental protection.

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European Bathing Water Quality in 2018

The report assesses bathing water quality in 2018, indicating where the quality of bathing water is expected to be good in 2019. The report was compiled using information from more than 21 000 bathing waters in the 28 EU Member States. It also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission.

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Contaminants in Europes seas

Moving towards a clean, non-toxic marine environment. This assessment represents a first attempt to map contamination 'problem areas' and 'non-problem areas' at the scale of Europe's seas, while also exploring whether Europe has broken some of the trends for long‑established hazardous substances.

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Industrial waste water treatment  pressures on environment

This report analyses recent data about emissions from industry directly to water bodies as well as to sewage systems and onward to UWWTPs. The analysis focuses on the latest information for 2016, when around 3 600 industrial facilities reported at least one direct or indirect pollutant release to water to the E-PRTR database.

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Mapping Europe's ecosystems

The EU Biodiversity Strategy to 2020 calls on Member States to carry out a mapping and assessment of ecosystems and their services (MAES, Maes et al., 2013). As such, an EU-wide ecosystem assessment was launched to provide harmonised information on the condition of ecosystems and biodiversity, and their capacity to provide ecosystem services. The assessment will provide data for the final evaluation of the EU biodiversity strategy in 2020. This briefing presents recent progress in mapping broad ecosystem types and their associated habitats at European level.

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Chemicals in European waters

This report’s aim is to improve understanding of which chemicals continue to pose significant risks to the environment, especially when they are present in water. It also looks at how better knowledge and understanding can help to improve controls to minimise harm. The report gives an overview of information about pollutants used in the assessment of water quality under the Water Framework Directive, and describes some of the newer techniques available for the assessment of water quality.

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Why should we care about floodplains?

Rivers are much wider than the channels we associate them with. The areas next to rivers, which are only covered by water during floods, are also part of the river system. Known as floodplains, in their natural condition they are an important ecological part of this system: they filter and store water, secure both natural flood protection and the healthy functioning of river ecosystems, and help sustain the high biological diversity present there.

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Marine protected areas

Designed to conserve Europe's marine life, marine protected areas are a globally recognised toolfor managing and enhancing our marine ecosystems.

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EEA SIGNALS 2018 Water is life

Europe's rivers, lakes and seas are under pressure from pollution, over-exploitation and climate change. How can we ensure a sustainable use of this vital resource?

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European waters -- Assessment of status and pressures 2018

The main aim of EU water policy is to ensure that a sufficient quantity of good-quality water is available for both people's needs and the environment. The Water Framework Directive (WFD), which came into force in 2000, established a framework for the assessment, management, protection and improvement of the quality of water resources across the EU. Since December 2015, EU Member States have been publishing the second river basin management plans (RBMPs) for achieving the environmental objectives of the WFD. These plans are updates of the first RBMPs, which were published in 2009.

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Marine Litter Watch - Citizens collect plastic and data to protect Europe's marine environment

This briefing highlights the work and results of the Marine Litter Watch clean-up activities held on the beaches of Europe’s four regional seas (the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the North-East Atlantic Ocean) between 2014 and 2017. It also presents the top ten litter items found and attempts to link them to the most likely litter sources.

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European bathing water quality in 2017

The report assesses bathing water quality in 2017, indicating where the quality of bathing water is expected to be good in 2018. The report was compiled using information from more than 21 000 bathing waters in the 28 EU Member States. The report also covers bathing waters in Albania and Switzerland. The report is a joint production of the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission.

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Water management in Europe: price and non-price approaches to water conservation

European Union (EU) water policies encourage Member States to implement better water demand management practices. This is a response to the pressures on water resources that are continuously increasing. Management practices on water demand are being revised to improve the existing supply-demand balance and ultimately to bring about a more water-efficient society.

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The Arctic Environment

This European Environment Agency (EEA) report contributes to the growing international discourse on the Arctic region. It is both timely and important, since it examines the increasingly rapid changes that are taking place in the Arctic from a European perspective. It considers the national, regional and global challenges and opportunities that are emerging as a result

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European bathing water quality in 2016

Every summer, European holiday resorts fill up with tourists eager to enjoy the warmer weather and the beautiful natural surroundings of this diverse continent. For many, the summer vacation is synonymous with swimming in the sea or in a lake, so it is natural that water quality is an important factor in choosing a destination. To help citizens make informed choices, the European Environment Agency (EEA) and the European Commission publish the annual European bathing water quality report. The information contained in this edition - which covers bathing water quality in 2016 in the EU Member States, Albania and Switzerland - indicates where good quality bathing water is likely to be found in 2017.

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European water policies and human health — Combining reported environmental information

Society depends on the satisfactory and sustainable management of water. This report considers three pieces of EU water legislation targeted at particular sectors: the Bathing Water Directive, the Drinking Water Directive and the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive, and looks at common issues in the context of the Water Framework Directive. A review of the implementation of each of the sectoral directives is provided.

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