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The waters of the Curonian Lagoon cleaned from vessel ‘necropolis’

2015-02-19

Clearance of the vessel ‘graveyard’ in the waters of the Curonian Lagoon is finally complete. Over a period of eight months, about 1,500 tonnes of what remained from vessel parts was removed from Ledų ragas bay, 8,800 square meters of soil was washed out and close to 19,000 cubic metres was dredged.

Clearing out a bay with a vessel ‘graveyard’, which is approximately 260 m long and about 50 m wide and is located on the eastern coast of the Curonian Spit between the yacht club and Kiaulės Nugara Island, was the initiative of the Klaipėda city municipal government. A project worth EUR 1.6 million was co-funded by the EU (90%) and the municipality (10%).

“Talks about clearing out Ledų ragas bay had been going on for years. We are glad that the vessel ‘necropolis’ has finally disappeared and no longer presents threat to the biodiversity of the Curonian Spit and to the unique landscape of this site,” the vice-minister for environment, Algirdas Genevičius, said. According to him, the cleared waters of the Curonian Lagoon will promote development of tourism and recreation not only in Klaipėda but also in adjacent districts.

A bay on the eastern coast of the Curonian Spit was formed after a large amount of soil was excavated during the construction of a fishing port. It was initially used for the mooring of rodent-eliminating vessels and afterwards for written-off vessels – approximately between 1952 and 1970. Because nobody registered them, it was impossible to identify the exact levels of metal residues that those vessels contained. Fuels that were not pumped out or other environmentally hazardous substances could have been left in the drowned vessels.

As part of the project, the metal bodies of the vessels were being cut under the water and their wooden and metal remnants were then placed into separate containers. According to the calculations, about 1,500 tonnes of remnants of vessels had accumulated and had been sanded at the site.
A new beach has already been formed near the new ferry port not far from the former vessel ‘necropolis’ and in the future yachts and small vessels will moor here.

Public information division
19 February 2015


Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas
Minister of Environment of Lithuania Kęstutis Navickas