Artificial Reefs Project for Improvement of Water Quality and Environmental Enhancement of Neva Bay (St.-Petersburg County Region)
Abstract:The Neva Bay is a shallow estuarine extension of the Gulf of Finland, separated from it by an artificial barrier. During many years this small basin has received all the domestic and industrial sewage from a large region of St.-Petersburg County. The bottom sediments of this basin are sand and silt, and there are no hard substrates suitable for sessile fouling organisms. Other environmental and biological conditions of the Neva Bay are also nonfavorable for cultivation of rich communities of fouling invertebrates. Yet, the recent discovery of “zebra mussels” Dreissena polymorpha in nearby area waters allows this sessile bivalve to be considered as a tool for a bay clean-up effort. The idea being put forth here is to utilize massive numbers of filter feeders in a controlled environment of artificial reefs, to cleanse the waters through bioaccumulation. A 3-year scientific feasibility study is proposed here as a first step in the ecological enhancement of Neva Bay. It is envisioned that this program, taking advantage of the ecological role of the reef community, can affect the bay's natural cleansing capacity to improve the bay's water quality. The construction of special reefs must provide for their regular withdrawal to allow for the cleaning and disposal of the encrustations and accumulated substances from the aquatic ecosystem. Thus the design of this kind of modules, envisioned as large metal racks, must be very specific for their function, and rather distinct from reefs for fisheries.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: September 1, 1994
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