Vaxholm: Restoring Wetlands for the Baltic Sea
Vaxholm is in situated in the heart of the Swedish archipelago and stretches over about 70 islands. It is an area that attracts tourists, the boating community and citizens who enjoy living close to the water. The municipality of Vaxholm plays a key role in protecting the Baltic Sea and has initiated truly innovative projects within the Baltic Sea City Accelerator programme.
Mia Sklenar, an engaged and passionate civil servant for Vaxholm, works as the municipality’s ecologist. She has initiated two projects that will affect wetland restoration in Vaxholm. These wetlands will be used to trap nutrients and bring back biodiversity in key areas of the municipality. “This kind of project represents an opportunity to make a difference for the environment”, said Mia Sklenar.
Bogesundslandet as a future pike factory
The first wetland will be dedicated to a natural pike factory where pikes will have a protected area to span. As a result, the water quality and biodiversity of the wetland will improve. It could also become an attractive area for recreational for sports fishing.
The area of Bogesunlandet wetland will be cleared of trees. A dam will be built to avoid road flooding and to regulate water levels, and a “pikeway” for the fish to move around.
The project was made possible thanks to the Swedish Sport Fishing Association who identified an ideal location for pikes. The pike factory can possibly attract local citizens, tourists, etc. More practically, the wetland will be used to trap nutrients from agricultural before they reach the Baltic Sea
Eriksömaren is the second wetland project which will developed. It will mainly be used to hold stormwater, limiting water pollution, and therefore Baltic pollution.
These projects have been made possible thanks to Mia Sklenar, who has been working closely with the Baltic Sea City Accelerator to create real change in Vaxholm. For Mia, what makes a difference in that kind of projects is really the people who are working with it, especially the civil servants and the politicians.
The two wetland projects have been approved by the municipality and will start in 2017.