The primary focus of MARTINI was the Water Framework Directive (WFD). The WFD was implemented into Norwegian law in 2007, referred to as Vannforskriften, and it aims to improve and protect the chemical and biological status of all Norwegian water bodies using ecosystem-based management. The environmental objective of the WFD is to achieve Good Ecological and Good Chemical Status within each of water bodies within a six-year period, i.e. by 2021 (coinciding with the final year of MARTINI). We chose to work on the Oslofjord and the Skagerrak regions, which have densely populated catchment areas, and are under pressure from various human activities, such as eutrophication, contaminants, non-indigenous species and marine litter. In addition, the region is experiencing effects of climate change, such as ocean warming and species displacements, ocean acidification and changes in river runoff from land.
Ecosystem-based management involves, by necessity, using all information available to provide knowledge for qualified decision making. Our intention was that through this project and through potential future geographical expansions of the MARTINI concept, we will be able to provide up-to-date knowledge co-produced with the users, to aid decision-making in water management of Norwegian fjords, coasts and seas - upon which the Norwegian economy so strongly depends and along which three quarters of the Norwegian population resides - as these waters face unprecedented anthropogenic pressures. Our vision was to provide a tool that could be used to create a joint understanding of the situation (in the vocabulary of the military: a war room. We took as a starting point the web portal that is normally used by Norwegian water managers to house relevant information (the Vann-Nett portal) and developed it further, based on the scientific advances in the project, including the new MARTINI800 biogeochemical model, the hindcast data archive, and the tools for assessing state, fate and mitigation possibilities for less-than-good water quality. Contrary to terrestrial water bodies, the marine water bodies have no clear geographical boundaries, so it was essential to include ocean circulation in order to make those assessments.
The developments of MARTINI towards aiding managers with respect to the Water Framework Directive has been discussed repeatedly with users, both at the beginning of the project, but most importantly in the final months (when all the technical advances had materialized). In interviews, the users have unanimously applauded the tools we have developed and they see the potential value the tool have for water management. We, the scientists of the MARTINI project, see now that co-creating information with environmental managers is a much slower process than what can be done within the framework of a four-year project; it requires time, patience, trust and persistence. Though the project is formally finished we will arrange a user seminar at the Miljødirektoratet in late summer. We are determined to continue on the path we have begun, and we already see many spin-off activities from MARTINI.
The focus of MARTINI was the EUs Water Framework Directive (WFD), which entered Norwegian law in 2007 (Vannforskriften). It aims to improve and protect the chemical and biological status of all water bodies using ecosystem-based management (ESBM). ESBM involves using all information available to provide knowledge for qualified decision making. We have therefore combined ecological monitoring with model simulations and an online web portal to create tools for creating a joint understanding of the problem (a war room) and for assessing impacts of mitigation efforts. The developments of MARTINI have been discussed repeatedly with users, who unanimously applauds the tools we have developed. But is is evident that co-creating information with users is a much slower process than what can be done within the framework of a four-year project; it requires time, patience and trust. We are determined to continue on the path we have begun, and we already see many spin-off activities from MARTINI.
The MARTINI project will co-produce with relevant water management bodies the knowledge necessary to make ecosystem-based decisions for monitoring and improving water quality along the coast of Norway. This will be done through integrating and adapting state-of-the-art physical and biogeochemical models with monitoring data to achieve the so-called best estimate of the state of the marine ecosystem. The concept will be first applied to Skagerrak and the Oslofjord, a region where presently several water bodies on the inner coast are classified as having moderate (or below) Ecological and Chemical Status, as defined by the Water Framework Directive (WFD). According to the WFD, water bodies are to achieve the environmental objective of Good Ecological and Chemical Status by the end of 2021, and implementation of measures to achieve this have to be started by 2018. There are three River Basin Districts that are jointly responsible for the Skagerrak and Oslofjord region (Glomma, Vestre Viken and Agder), which are all part of the MARTINI-project. Implementation of measures to improve water quality status requires a deep mechanistic understanding of the direct and indirect drivers of change, something that is difficult to obtain from the WFD-related monitoring programs alone. MARTINI aim to deliver advice on effective and cost-efficient measures to improve the water quality status in these regions, co-produced with the respective River Basin Districts.
MARTINI aims to use the lessons learned in the Skagerak and Oslofjord to develop a prototype service that can be used all along the coast of Norway to provide advice on measures to improve water quality status, suitability of quality indicators and threshold and adaptive monitoring programs. MARTINI will for the first time in Norway test the ability to produce 10-day water quality forecasts (for the Skagerrak and Oslofjord for selected periods), moving towards operational forecasting of water quality.