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Removal of Conventional Ammunition in WW II Ammunition Dump Site „Heidkate“ (Kiel Bight)
Progress and Mitigation
MIREMAR - Conference
Jens Sternheim, State Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Control, Kiel / Germany
More than sixty years went by, since World War II has ended and we are lining nearly one hundred years after World War I. To us these terrible wars have become part of the common history. The public only takes notice of a few, media driven removal campaigns of war ammunition, especially if tragically people where killed in order to disable the dangerous ammunition. The same social alert can be raised, if risks are present or destructive impacts on sensitive species or ecosystems are believed devoutly. This happened recently in Schleswig-Holstein.
In the in direct translation so called “state between the oceans” dump sites of World War II ammunition became part of the public interest as State of Schleswig-Holstein authorities has started to blast up to 30 out of approximately 140 World War II mines and torpedo heads, found under water, just three sea miles off the coastline, close to the famous seaside resort Schönberger Strand in the Kiel bight. The public interest was flanked with interventions from NGO like NABU, GRD, and GSM to stop the blasting, that was recognized as an avoidable impact to a site of Community importance, according to the Habitats Directive (92/43/EEC), and the Harbour Porpoise (Phocoena phocoena) as an endangered species, according to CITES. The protest finally led the state authorities to stop their activities and to join a development process, under co-operation of scientists, local companies, NGO and German Navy Research Department for Underwater Acoustics and Marine Geophysics. Common aim was to find and to implement methods with less impact to the environment, while being save, practicable on scene and can be financed on long term.
Jens Sternheim, head of Schleswig-Holstein State Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Control, will present the development process. Principle point will be the results of recently tested technology of “bubble curtains” to reduce the impact of shock waves, released from under water blasting at the dump site “Heidkate”. But although alternative technologies, avoiding blasts and further activities of his division will be part of his contribution.
State Office for Civil Protection and Disaster Control
Düsternbrooker Weg 92
24105 Kiel / Germany