Phase 2 (2003-2006) of the MARE programme will be organized around the Nest (decision support system) prototype developed during phase 1. The research necessary will be divided into three additional work packages (WPs). There will need to be a different focus to ensure that further development of the model is achieved. Thus, the original seven work packages of programme phase 1 will be reduced to these four ones, arranged in new constellations. Interaction between these four groups will become even more important as efforts continue to integrate all the elements of the prototype into a functioning model. Furthermore, all the researchers will be more directly involved in contacts with users of Nest. During the second phase, data will be updated and measures of uncertainties in the model will be made accessible to users.
WP 1: Development and maintenance of the decision support system (Nest)

Will be concerned with maintaining and developing the decision support system, incorporating new components into it, and, in response to users’ wishes, improving user interfaces and accessibility. The aim is to achieve a well-documented, user-friendly and transparent system in which underlying data are visible and identifiable and can be modified where necessary. • More about Nest, the decision support system • More about WP 1

WP 2: Ecological targets

Will propose ecological indicators, such as reduced algal blooms, a rich and diverse benthic fauna, and interactions between eutrophication, fishing and population trends for cod, herring and sprat. These indicators should then be related to reductions in nutrient inputs and to the costs of attaining the indicators. It will thus be possible to establish where the best value for money can be achieved in terms of improving the Baltic marine environment. Data on water transparency (Secchi depth), used as an environmental quality indicator in the existing prototype, will also be improved. • More about WP 2

WP 3: Marine models

As concentrations of nutrients in coastal and open sea areas are determined not only by the scale of inputs, but also by the way nutrients are transferred between different basins and by the various biogeochemical transformations they undergo, existing physical/biogeochemical model will be further developed and time dynamics will be incorporated into it. Account will be taken of the time it takes for nutrients to be carried from coasts to different parts of the Baltic Sea. Models for estimating water exchange between open sea areas and the coastal zone, in an attempt to make Nest more useful in the context of implementing the EC Water Framework Directive, will be developed. • More about WP 3

WP 4: Drainage basin model linked to cost-effective measures

Since most abatement measures are taken within a drainage basin, dynamic, large-scale drainage basin models will be developed. Economists and natural scientists will work together to further develop the large-scale drainage basin model used in Nest. The factors affecting what quantities of nutrients from a drainage basin actually reach the sea – such as drainage basin characteristics, effects of climate and human factors – will be incorporated in the system, to enable users to calculate the effects of different measures and the costs of implementing them. • More about WP 4