Diversity of social and environmental problems in the Szczecin Lagoon region
Keywords:natural environment, social environment, transboundary area, Szczecin Lagoon, sailing
Szczecin Lagoon and the surrounding lands are diverse in terms of physiography and the extent of resource use. A multitude of these factors causes inevitable conflicts related to the management of this limited space. The conflict of interest usually concerns the issues related to environmental aspects of the Lagoon and human activity. These problems are often caused by the infrastructure providing access to the port of Szczecin, urbanization of floodplains, construction of quays, water pollution, economic activity, i.e. fishing, seasonal mass tourism, reed harvesting. Natural processes have been subjected to strong human impact, resulting in the disappearance of the poorest forest communities, plant species of nature conservation value, decline of animal populations associated with the extensive use of wetlands as well as brackish and dry habitats. Selected components of the geographical space of the basin were evaluated from the perspective of experience, emotions, needs and habits of its users – sailors. The objective of the research was to identify the problems of the aforementioned social groups in the Szczecin Lagoon, as well as to discuss the conflicts related to sailing in the waters of both the Small and Great Lagoon. The conducted analyses are based on the assumption that one and the same place may be a source of different types of experience for people. The perception and valorisation of the space by its users is the result of several factors, e.g. shared personal experience gained in similar material, social and cultural conditions.