Marine environment status quo: analysing the use and deterioration of German coastal waters

European coasts and marine waters, including the North and Baltic Seas, are among the most intensively used marine areas in the world. As with most inland waters, they are subject to various interests and protection strategies. Amidst this tension, the Marine Strategy Framework Directive (MSFD) was adopted at the EU level in June 2008. The aim of the MSFD: to achieve ‘Good Environmental Status’ (GES) for the marine waters of the Member States by 2020 at the latest.

Member States are to develop national marine strategies that describe the current and the intended marine environment, and list tools and actions to achieve GES. Strategies should also include an analysis of water use and the costs of a deteriorating marine environment. As of yet, however, there has been no contrete quantification of deterioration in Germany due to a lack of data.

Under the direction of adelphi, a project consortium made up of the Institute for the World Economy and the consulting firms imug and InterSus joined forces to carry out such a quantification. In preparation for the renewed description of the costs of a deteriorating marine environment in 2024, this project provided an estimate using the example of the German coastal waters. To this end, the consortium employed the contingent assessment method and, using a representative survey, determined the population’s willingness to pay for the improvement of the German coastal marine environment. The project included the elaboration of a goal-oriented methodology, the data collection, the evaluation of the survey data, as well as the presentation and utilisation of the results.

In addition to the overall project management, adelphi worked with the consortium partners to design the representative survey of 1000 consumers, develop the evaluation tool, and evaluate the survey results.