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Coastal anti-corrosion events will take place in Riga, Mangaļsala

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Carnikava county municipality, association “Baltijas krasti”, the Nature Conservation Agency and the City Development Department of the Riga city Council will begin the final stage of the anti-erosion measures: coast-planting of graminae in the Nature Park “Piejūra” in Riga, Mangaļi, within the framework of the LIFE CoHaBit project.

On 16 April of this year, it is planned to carry out graminae planting works in order to eliminate the consequences of anthropogenic load and to carry out primary restoration of dunes. The purpose of the planned works is mainly aimed at creating favorable conditions for the development of embryonic and shifting dunes, as well as carrying out dune erosion mitigation activities in places where too much anthropogenic load can be identified.


Figure 1. Dune anti-erosion reed fences and dune graminae on Carnikava beach

In the territory of the planned activities (figure 2), three habitats protected in the European Union and two habitats protected in Latvia have been identified. Grey dunes are a specially protected habitat in Latvia “6.2. Forbs-covered grey dunes” (Regulation No 350 adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers on 20 June 2017). At the same time, this habitat is a specially protected habitat in the European Union 2130*Fixed coastal dunes with herbaceous vegetation. Significantly, it has been identified as a priority protection habitat in the European Union and Latvia (Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora, Regulation No 153 “Regulation regarding the list of European Union priority species and habitats occurring in Latvia” adopted by the Cabinet of Ministers of the Republic of Latvia on 21 February 2006).


Figure 2. Erosion mitigation site in Mangaļi

Grey dune habitats are among the most endangered habitats in Europe. Dune forests belong to a specially protected habitat in Latvia “1.5. Wooded seaside dunes”, which at the same time is a specially protected habitat in the European Union 2180 Wooded dunes. 2120 Shifting dunes also are a specially protected habitat in the European Union. The territory of the planned activity on the sea side is bordered by embryonic dunes or a beach, which at certain stages are intensively used as recreation areas. Depending on the intensity of the impact of recreation at different stages, the state of embryonic dunes is assessed from bad to good. Primary and secondary dune erosion is triggered by the movement of coastal visitors along the surface beach terrain (trampling down of vegetation) – this disrupts the development of naturally existing sand vegetation, which, in turn, leads to the free travel of wind-borne sand.

Solutions for reducing anthropogenic load

Strengthening of “defects” of primary and secondary dune exposed to wind erosion only with so-called “green” solutions – plantations of dune graminae and/or willow, which accelerate the regeneration of the plant, creating habitats for animal species and other plant species – is considered the most suitable solution. An obligatory condition is the use of only local plant species. Also, the fences reducing movement of holidaymakers and anthropogenic load and strengthening shifting dunes (figure 1) serves as one of the solutions. According to the experience gained in other coastal areas of Latvia and neighbouring countries, the application of “green” anti-erosion solutions provides particularly good results in limiting erosion (deflation) caused by excessive anthropogenic load (trampling down).

Kā notiek graudzāļu stādīšana?

How is graminae planted?

The planting material is obtained on the territory located as close as possible to the site of the renewable dune to ensure genetic unity. The material will be taken only in those places and in an amount that does not harm the donor population, namely, it must remain viable. Young, strong plants with a well-developed root system will be chosen. They are obtained by cutting off the separating cluster with a sharp shovel and pulling out the stalks from the sand. The resulting material will be planted in predetermined places, based on surveys and opinions of experts. Opinions are available here: https://dabasparkspiejura.lv/index.php/lv/aktivitates-un-rezultati/96-aktivitates-un-rezultati/172-pasakumi-pret-krastu-eroziju-mangalos 

Graminae planting works will initiate the final stage of the LIFE CoHaBit project's coastal erosion activities in the Nature Park “Piejūra”. After the works carried out in Riga, very soon planting of graminae will also be carried out in shifting dune areas in Garciems, Carnikava, Gauja and Lilaste.


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Projekts LIFE CoHaBit (Nr. LIFE15 NAT/LV/000900) „Piekrastes biotopu aizsardzība dabas parkā “Piejūra”” tiek ieviests ar Eiropas Savienības LIFE programmas un Latvijas vides aizsardzības fonda administrācijas finansiālu atbalstu.


Informāciju sagatavoja: S.Voskāne

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Administration of Latvian Environmental Protection Fund 200


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