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Strategies for the protection of shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea against forthcoming attack by wood degrading marine borers. A synthesis and information project based on the effects of climatic changes

Final Report Summary - WRECKPROTECT (Strategies for the protection of shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea against forthcoming attack by wood degrading marine borers ...)

The challenge

The Baltic Sea is a brackish marine environment, enclosing a unique well preserved historical collection of shipwrecks and settlements due to the absence of marine borers. There are however strong indications that the shipworm are spreading into the Baltic Sea, possibly an effect of climatic changes. A strategy to handle this alarming scenario is to provide museum and conservators responsible for long term preservation with tools for prediction of risk areas and methods for physical protection of the wrecks.

It is essential that the protection is given in time.

Project objectives

The main aim of WRECKPROTECT is to secure the preservation of two important objects of cultural heritage in marine environments: shipwreck and submerged archaeological settlements.

The objectives are:

- to provide cultural resource managers, archaeologists, and conservators responsible for the long term preservation of cultural heritage with tools for assessing and predicting the future spread of wood degrading organisms especially Teredo navalis which can rapidly attack underwater wooden objects and constructions;
- to evaluate and recommend practical methods for protection of the wreck and historical settlements in situ, in order to prevent decay;
- to develop two user-friendly practical guidelines for the prediction and protection of cultural heritage;
- to organise workshops and training courses for the dissemination of guidelines;
- to produce a monograph and scientific publications.

Main results

- A geographical information system (GIS) - tool for assessing the spread of Teredo navalis in the Baltic Sea today and in future was developed.
- A guideline on how to use the GIS- model for identification of sites under imminent threat from shipworm was given.
- A guideline with recommendation of efficient methods for physical protection of wrecks in situ was generated.

Both guidelines are available for free download on the WRECKPROTECT website: http://www.wreckprotect.eu

Using the new GIS-tool, it was found that there is no evidence for a further spread of Teredo navalis into the Baltic Sea; in contrary, a decline of spread can be expected. It was also found that the currents of the sea, plays an important role for the restricted spread. These are simply put transporting the larvae of Teredo navalis out of the Baltic Sea instead of further in. Information on the different aspects of the project, which also includes synthesized knowledge on the Teredo navalis, the microbial degradation of wood, an overview on the historical outbreaks of Teredo navalis, general decay processes of shipwreck were disseminated efficiently to European managers of underwater cultural heritage, archaeologists, conservators. This was achieved by several means; scientific publications, conference presentations, final seminar, workshop, training school, a monograph, and through the project website.

Project context and objectives:

Today the Baltic Sea is a unique reservoir for marine archaeology. The very low salinity of the water has excluded the aggressive marine borers, and historical shipwrecks can be found intact both above and beneath the seabed. The Vasa ship, the number one tourist attraction of Stockholm, Sweden, is an example of the unique preservation conditions in the Baltic Sea. It is estimated that around 100 000 shipwrecks are present in the Baltic today and at least 6000 are of high archaeological importance. The nine countries that surround the Baltic; Denmark, Sweden, Germany, Poland, Finland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Russia, frequently discover new wrecks each year and consequently the number of wrecks is still rising.

Salvaging each unique wreck is not a realistic option; in the first instance due to the tremendous costs for conservation, excavation, storage, and exhibition. Consequently, in-situ preservation has become more and more common as a long term preservation method. It is also recommended as a first choice option by the 2001 UNESCO convention for the protection of the submerged cultural heritage which should be followed by all nations.

Normally, all kinds of wood immersed in seawater are rapidly attacked by biological degraders. The most harmful degraders are the marine invertebrates (molluscs). The organisms that cause most damage in North Western Europe are wood boring shipworms of the genus Teredo. They are also present in most seawater worldwide and their tolerance in water temperature and salinity varies widely between the different species. A critical first step in the spread of shipworms to new territories is successful larval dispersal, which is principally dependent on ocean currents. Other physical factors essential for survival of the organism are temperature and salinity. In the Baltic Sea, the salinity has so far been too low for their spread. Shipworms are bivalves that settle onto wooden surfaces as small free-swimming larvae. The larvae develop into a juvenile that bores by drilling tunnels. The adult animal spends its entire life within the wooden structure where it continues to bore through the wood. The adult shipworm can be about 60 - 100 cm in length, and looks very 'worm-like'. They perform a vital ecosystem service by degrading dead wood in marine systems.

The marine borers that are found in more saline Scandinavian seas, can normally destroy wooden material exposed to seawater within a very short period of time; years or even months. This is also the situation in the Mediterranean Sea and in most other European waters where the salinity is even higher. In these saline environments, wooden shipwrecks are consequently extensively degraded and consequently very little remains for archaeological investigations. The only remaining parts are those protected in sediment beneath the seabed where the environment has too low an oxygen concentration for these marine borers to survive. Based on this, the Baltic Sea is one of the few waters in the world where historic shipwrecks and other constructions are found completely protected from attack from marine borers and provide an unprecedented resource for historical research.

New information and observations have indicated that the marine borer,Teredo Navalis, is spreading into the southern parts of the Baltic Sea. The spread of this marine borer could be an effect of global climatic change and the worst case scenario would be a massive loss of unique archaeological shipwrecks and wooden settlements in the Baltic.

WRECKPROTECT started in May 2009. The full title of the project is 'Strategies for the protection of shipwrecks in the Baltic Sea against forthcoming attack by wood degrading marine borers'. A synthesis and information project based on the effects of climatic changes. It is financed mainly by the European Commission (EC) within the Seventh Framework Programme (FP7), Theme Environment, and is a coordination and support action with a duration of two years. All work within the project is based on the present knowledge of today and is carried out by careful literature studies in each fields of interest. The knowledge is synthesised and evaluated and used in a cross disciplinary context.

Project objectives

The overall objective of WRECKPROTECT is to secure the preservation of two important objects of cultural heritage in marine environments against attack by shipworms; namely the shipwrecks and the submerged archaeological settlements.

The main objectives are:

- to provide cultural resource managers, archaeologists, and conservators responsible for the long term preservation of cultural heritage with tools for assessing and predicting the future spread of Teredo navalis, which can rapidly attack underwater wooden objects and constructions;
- recommend practical methods for protection of the wreck and historical settlements in situ, in order to prevent decay;
- to develop two user-friendly practical guidelines for prediction of risk zones and protection of cultural heritage;
- dissemination of results

Outline of the project

The project is divided into four scientific work packages (WPs). During the first year, work was concentrated on WP 1 and WP2, as well as dissemination and promotion of the project. The second year WP 3 and WP 4 were in focus.

WP 1: Coordinating present biological and environmental data
WP 2: Review of methods for protection of historical wreck and settlements in marine environments
WP 3: Strategy and tools for protection of cultural heritage
WP 4: Dissemination to stakeholders, managers and conservators

WP 1: Coordinating present biological and environmental data

The aim was to synthesize environmental data from the Baltic Sea in order to produce a simple model that is able to predict the geographical spread of Teredo navalis.

The environmental data sets used for this work included information from a relatively wide period of time; 1980 - 2008 for the hind cast data sets, and 2009 - 2020 for the predicted data sets. In conjunction with this, a full literature survey was conducted to elucidate the ecological criteria for growth of Teredo navalis. The most important parameters for survival were identified both for the larvae and the adult. Although microbial decay was not included in the model, a comprehensive literature survey was conducted on these degraders too, to give a more complete picture of the ongoing biological degradation of wood in the Baltic Sea.

Finally, tools for the prediction of forthcoming decay area could be synthesized. A very large amount of data was restructured and reformatted to a GIS compatible format and therefore a database was built for housing the data and restructuring them. The data was then loaded to the GIS program 'ArcGIS' for processing. Intense cross disciplinary discussions were conducted and aimed specifically to categorize the environmental parameters into ecologically relevant classes. These classes were used in the GIS Geoprocessing program for delineating and predicting areas where forthcoming spread and attack of Teredo navalis are most likely to take place, i.e. 'hot spots'. A verification of the model was based on known outbreaks of the Teredo navalis in the Baltic Sea region.

WP 2: Review of methods for protection of historical wreck and settlements in marine environments

An extensive literature review on methods for protection of ship wreck in situ was carried out. This included experimental studies and methods carried out and tested by conservators and marine archaeologists, as well as experiences from coastal engineering and the offshore industry when protecting wooden constructions like piles in marine environments. Additionally, a review of 'historical' literature, primarily from the Netherlands in the 1700s was accomplished. The aims of all the literature reviews were to see what methods could be applicable to the in situ protection of shipwreck and other wooden archaeological artefacts.

As a result of the literature reviews, researchers from the aforementioned fields were invited to participate in a seminar to shed light on the results of the literature review and also highlight potential methods which had possibly not been covered in the literature review.

WP 3: Strategy and tools for protection of cultural heritage

In WP 3, two guidelines were produced. These were based on previous work carried out in WP 1 and WP 2 respectively, and aimed to be practical tools for stakeholder, managers and conservators working with protection of wooden underwater cultural heritage. It was the intention that both should be easily understandable and straight forward for use in practice. The first guideline was instructions on how to use the GIS model (produced in WP1) as a tool for detection and prediction the spread of Teredo navalis in the Baltic Sea. The second guideline (based on WP2) provided managers responsible for the protection of underwater cultural heritage with information and methods on how sites can be protected, the advantages and disadvantages of these protection measures, and also cost benefit aspects.

WP 4: Dissemination to stakeholders, managers and conservators

The overall objective of this work package was an effective dissemination of the achieved knowledge directed to authorities in Europe, responsible for protection of underwater cultural heritage. Stakeholders, museums, managers, conservators, and archaeologists, were the main target for this information. The approach was:

- promoting of the project through leaflet and website;
- publications in all forms, from scientific to popular;
- a monograph was written;
- a seminar, workshop, and training school were directed to stakeholders.

Project results:
A description of the main scientific and technological (S&T) results / foregrounds

WP 1: Coordinating present biological and environmental data

According to the GIS models gained by WRECKPROTECT, Teredo navalis IS NOT spreading into the Baltic Sea. Instead a slighter decrease of the attack zone could be expected. However, the yearly period for spread is prolonged with one month due to the warmer temperature of the water, which means that an increase of numbers of larvae dispersed in the sea on a yearly basis, could be expected.

The results are presented in more details below.

Teredo navalis
Literature study and set of tolerance limits for survival

Shipworms perform a vital ecosystem service by degrading terrestrial material in the sea, yet they simultaneously cause extensive damage to economically and culturally important marine wooden structures. They are highly specialized molluscs that drill into wood. There are about 65 species of true shipworms (Teredinidae) worldwide, and six of those reproduce in northern Europe. The only known species in the Baltic Sea is the Teredo navalis.

Infestation of wood by shipworms occurs during the larval phase of the shipworm's life cycle. The larvae of T. navalis are planktotrophic, meaning they have to feed on plankton during the free-swimming larval phase. After about 14 days in the water column at a size of about 0.25 mm they are mature to settle on to wood. After a successful settlement they pass through the critical metamorphosis stage. The larva then changes from a juvenile to an adult that will never spontaneously leave the piece of wood. With help from unique endosymbiotic bacteria (Teredinibacter turnerae) it eats its way into wood. Repeated rasping movements by the fine serrated shells make a perfectly circular gallery in the wood. By sealing their burrow with the pallets it can avoid unfavourable conditions from the surrounding water, and survive for at least three weeks upon stored glycogen. Several hydrographical and biological factors determine the presence, abundance and the intensity of shipworm attacks in an area. Some crucial abiotic factors are; temperature, salinity, oxygen, pH, currents, velocity, water depth, availability of suitable substrate during settlement and wood species.

Background to the choice of parameters and classification criteria

Salinity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, and ocean currents are key environmental factors affecting many of the physiological and ecological behaviours in shipworms. For these parameters good long-term data are available from hydrological institutes. The classification criteria developed and used in the WRECKPROTECT model are based on literature study of scientific papers and books found at ISI web of knowledge autumn 2009. Each parameter was studied and a numerical measure was established for its influence on the marine borer productivity and survivability both as adult and larvae. The classification scheme was established for both the adults (bottom layer) and the larvae (top layer). This is the first time such an ecologically based classification has been conducted in the Baltic Sea.

Information on the ship wrecks that are infested with the marine borers and those which are not were searched after and were found in different literature sources. Spatial information on all known shipwreck sites in Danish waters from 0 to 1800 AD were also collated from databases. A full literature review for the historical documentation of shipworm attack, dating back from the present (2009) to the 1870s, in Danish territorial waters was carried out and assessed to try and elucidate the reasons for these outbreaks. The literature search has shown that 'spontaneous' outbreaks of shipworm have occurred throughout the past 100 years in Danish territorial waters and the southern Baltic - and is not just a recent phenomenon. The period of the each outbreaks appears to have varied, and the reasons have been widely discussed by scientists and is still not fully understood.

GIS model

- The numerical model

Environmental data sets for dissolved oxygen, salinity, water temperature and current speed of the Baltic Sea area was purchased at DHI (water, environment, health). DHI was asked to use their numerical model for producing the environmental data sets required for the project in the Baltic Sea and Kattegat for the period 1980-2008 (hind cast) and 2009-2020 (prediction). The data were transferred to a MIKE 3 which is DHI's numerical modelling system for three-dimensional (3D) flows.

The environmental data set used for the WRECKPROTECT GIS model, included information over a relatively wide period of time, 1980 - 2008 for the hind cast data sets and from 2009 - 2020 for the predicted data sets. Weekly variation data for salinity, temperature, oxygen content and current was provided for that period of time for the top layer of the water column as well as for the bottom water layer. The top layer parameters were in fact an average of three top layers in the model: the upper layer is 5m thick the next two are 2 m thick each; this means the top layer represents 9 m depth from the sea surface. The bottom layer represents the last layer in the water column projected at the seabed.

A very large amount of data was restructured and reformatted to a GIS compatible format. Therefore a database was built for housing the data and restructuring them. The data was then loaded to the GIS program 'ArcGIS' for processing the classification scheme was the basis for the following GIS modelling campaign and used in the GIS geoprocessing program for delineating and predicting areas where forthcoming spread and attack of Teredo navalis are most likely to take place, i.e. 'hot spots'. A model was built in ModelBuilder ArcGIS geoprocessing program for processing and combining the modelled environmental parameters. This model was used as a platform for additional models. The total spatial extent of a given combination scenario over an entire year was calculated and presented in separate maps for each year. The model reconstructed the situation from 1980 - 2008, where variation in the four parameters, temperature, salinity, oxygen and currents was follow. It was evident that the areas of risk zones had varied during the actual 29 years. This was also verified by information from modern and historical archives as well as known outbreaks on test panels today in the south western part of the Baltic Sea.

The 'Teredo scenario', where active attack takes place, occurred only from May - October and was absent during the rest of the year due to the temperature of the waters. GIS model results show no difference in frequency of occurrence of the scenario in the predicted data compared with hind cast data for the period June - September. However, in October the frequency of occurrence of the scenario is greater in the years 2009 - 2020 compared with earlier decades.

Microbial degradation

A full study on microbial degraders of wood was completed, giving an overview on the situation of microbial degradation by fungi and bacteria taking place in the Baltic Sea today.

Soft rot fungi and erosion bacteria are the two most active groups of wood degraders, and their decomposition of wood surface and interior was described, discussed, and compared with available data of examined shipwrecks found in the Baltic Sea. The speed of decay is dependent on several parameters such as; wood species, environmental factors, time of exposure (age of object), sediment protection, and physical damage. The bacterial and fungal degradation of the wood timbers results in a soft and spongy wood material, which is sensitive to physical damage. As long as the degraded timbers are exposed in a stable environment without strong streams or other potential physical damage, wood remains seemingly intact and keep its dimensions.

Varying temperature and salinity, as a consequence of climatic changes might only have a minor effect on decay rates as the micro organisms as a group are very tolerant. Wood protected by sediments degrades much slower than wood in the water column as the only degrader active in near anaerobic environment is the erosion bacteria. Future research in the ecology of the microbes combined with actual investigations on the historical wreck themselves is necessary for more consistent predictions on the 'life time' of a wreck in the Baltic Sea, in absence of marine borers. This research is essential for successful in-situ protection and long-term preservation of significant historical shipwreck.

Despite microbial decay not being included in the model, they are indeed an important parameter in the long term rather than short term degradation equation of the wooden structures and artifacts in the Baltic Sea today. The fungi and bacteria are ubiquitous in nature and are thus found in all aquatic environments; (marine, saline, brackish as well as in fresh water).Their degradation rate is complex and generally very slow compared to marine borers.

WP 2: Review of methods for protection of historical wreck and settlements in marine environments

The literature review has been extensive with over 1000 articles, reports and books being examined. Summarily, many of the historical methods, although fascinating, are not applicable to in situ preservation of archaeological finds against shipworm. Likewise modern methods used by the wood industry are not applicable as they include simply using different materials to wood or impregnation with toxic chemicals unsuitable for marine archaeological purposes. The most successful and applicable methods appear to be physical barriers which either prevent the shipworm attacking the wood or making the environment unfavourable for their growth. These methods have included covering with plastic materials and geotextiles or creating an artificial burial mound over a wreck with sand bags or other means which utilize the natural transport of sediment within the water column around a site.

There is very clearly a lack of efficient methods for protection of larger intact wrecks like some of those in the Baltic Sea. Here we see a great development potential that should be carried out in a cross disciplinary context.

WP 3: Strategy and tools for protection of cultural heritage

Two guidelines aimed for stakeholders, archaeologists, conservators and engineers were produced (see below)

- Guideline for prediction of decay by shipworm in the Baltic Sea

A user-friendly guideline with information and instructions on how to predict the spread of Teredo navalis was written. A translation of data (scientific) was disseminated to the stakeholders such as policymakers, managers of cultural heritage and a larger public. As the guidelines involve the use of a GIS-model, additional information directed to persons familiar with GIS modelling was provided. General information on the biological degraders in the Baltic Sea was given with a main focus on the growth and reproduction of Teredo navalis.

With help of this tool and information, it is now possible to identify areas in the Baltic Sea where Teredo navalis could be active. When WRECKPROTECT GIS map is combined with national GIS maps with positions of historical wrecks, stakeholders in countries surrounding the Baltic Sea will be able to identify wrecks in risk zones and take the necessary precautions.

Additional 'user-friendly maps' have been published on the WRECKPROTECT Website to be downloaded by others and used in own data bases / GIS systems. For those who do not have such own systems, the 'Managing cultural heritage underwater' (MACHU GIS), a European project under the Culture 2000 programme 2006-2009 is available for (restricted) use.

The guideline is available in following forms:

- Guideline for prediction of decay: PDF version free for downloading at http://www.wreckprotect.eu
- Guideline for prediction of decay: a paper version on demand
- User friendly maps on http://www.wreckprotect.eu and http://www.machuproject.eu

- Guideline for the protection of wrecks including cost-benefit analysis

Instructions on how to protect submerged wooden cultural heritage against deteriorating factors was given in this guideline. This means not only the Teredo navalis, but also e.g. abrasion and human factors. The protection methods for in situ preservation are explained carefully with instructions, illustrating photos, tips, and suggested reading. An evaluation of the different methods with advantages and disadvantages is given, as well as a list of different situations where certain methods are more adequate than others.

A rough cost-benefit analysis on in-situ versus ex-situ (excavation) is included. It was found that for the cost of one wreck raised conserved and displayed, hundreds of wrecks could be preserved in situ.

The guidelines guarantee a supportive manual for managers responsible for the protection of underwater cultural heritage to make decisions on whether sites can be protected, how they can be protected, the advantages and disadvantages and the costs of these actions compared to ex situ conservation.

The methods are applicable to hulls that are partly embedded in the sediments, which include wrecks in all waters as the Mediterranean and the Baltic Sea. The guideline is understandable for policymakers, cultural heritage managers as well as a larger public.

The guideline is available in following forms:

- Guidelines for protection of submerged wooden cultural heritage, including cost benefit analysis: PDF version free for downloading on http://www.wreckprotect.eu
- Guideline for protection of submerged wooden cultural heritage, including cost benefit analysis: a paper version on demand.

Cost benefit analyses showed that roughly 700 wrecks could be preserved in situ on the cost of one wreck raised, conserved and displayed. Due to absence of published information on the economic aspects, the information collected by personal communication and conference publications, shows that in situ preservation is a very economic choice when it comes to decisions on preservation of cultural heritage for future generation.

WP 4: Dissemination to stakeholders, managers and conservators

- Dissemination of knowledge from WRECKPROTECT was successful in all aspects.
- The web-site http://www.wreckprotect.eu was running since the start of the project and have been updated on a regular basis. After the end of the project, it will be available up to three years at the National Museum of Denmark's website.
- The cross disciplinary monograph of WRECKPROTECT is a unique product as it is the first book of its kind. It is of a high quality and is aimed at the education of professionals and students in the wide area of decay and preservation of underwater cultural heritage. Layout and editing has just finished, and the book will be printed and distributed worldwide by the publisher at the end of 2011. It was possible to keep the price of the book very low; less than GBP 20 in sale, and therefore available for public.
- One scientific peer reviewed paper on microbial degradation in the Baltic Sea was submitted for publication and is currently under review. Additional four peers reviewed scientific papers will be submitted and published after the end of the project.
- Three international conference papers on the WRECKPROTECT project are in press and additional five papers will be submitted and published after the end of the project.
- The final seminar and workshop was very successful and attracted 31 participants from 11 European countries. The knowledge provided by WRECKPROTECT was disseminated in an efficient way, and the meeting and interaction gave the opportunity for future European networking. During the seminar the comprehensive work by WRECKPROTECT was presented and discussed. The workshop was divided into four stations:

- demonstration of the GIS model by computer;
- identification of fungal and bacterial decay inside the wood timbers;
- presentation of the shipworm Teredo navalis;
- demonstration of protection methods for in situ preservation.

The training school gave a unique possibility for three European marine archaeologists and conservators from Sweden, United Kingdom (UK), and the Netherlands to practice and experience the difficult techniques of underwater protection of wreck in situ. Well experienced partners of the WRECKPROTECT project gave instruction and supervision both prior diving, and during the underwater operation.

Potential impact:
The potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far) and the main dissemination activities and exploitation of results

The outcome of WRECKPROTECT have provided stakeholders, managers, marine archaeologists, and conservators in Europe, that are responsible for long term preservation of cultural heritage, with new tools for tracking environmental changes that endanger the long term preservation of historical shipwreck, as well as offer methods for in situ protection based on the most cost efficient choice. By using the guidelines, sites and unique historical shipwreck, which are at threat from marine borers, can be identified and prioritised for protection and saved for future generations.

The awareness of shipwrecks as vulnerable and cultural heritage objects has been highlighted and the processes that endanger the long term preservation have been enlightened.

WRECKPROTECT has pointed out a need for further research within this multidiscipline areas and hope that the project can inspire and encourage to continued work dedicated long term preservation of historical shipwreck in situ.

Following points are summarised below.

Action: Supports

Focus on 'in situ' preservation of shipwrecks: Preservation of unique vulnerable cultural heritage large size moveable / immovable objects. Supported by UNESCO convention of underwater cultural heritage and ICOMOS charter.
Rising awareness of the problem (Degradation and need for protection of shipwrecks): Inform and support managers, stakeholders and end-users in Europe.
Provides and disseminate tools and methods for protection: Managers, stakeholders and end-users in Europe.
GIS model for prediction of decay by shipworm: Tracking underwater deterioration processes with a new approach.
An inspiration for other future projects.

Input to IPCC report on climatic change and the Baltic Forum

Save unique shipwreck for future generation: To the benefit of all future citizens of Europe.
In situ as an economical choice: Highlights possibilities for efficient use of resources in cultural heritage.

Action: supports

Marine biological information on shipworm (environment and biology): Understanding of processes that degrade cultural heritage and highlights areas for future research.
Information of microbial degradation of shipwrecks: Understanding of processes that degrade cultural heritage and highlights areas for future research.
Guidelines: Readily understandable for a cross disciplinary forum of European and international stakeholders and managers of cultural heritage.
Cross disciplinary project: Created a platform for a unique synthesis of knowledge within different disciplines, and provide individual partners with new knowledge and a new network.
Gender aspects are recognised and actions taken: Encouraged by EC and is important in society as well as in research environments.

Dissemination to stakeholders, managers and conservators

- Dissemination of knowledge from WRECKPROTECT was successful in all aspects.
- The website http://www.wreckprotect.eu was running since the start of the project and have been updated on a regular basis. After the end of the project it will be available up to three years at the National Museum of Denmark's website.
- The cross disciplinary monograph of WRECKPROTECT is a unique product as it is the first book of its kind. It is of a high quality and is aimed at the education of professionals and students in the wide area of decay and preservation of underwater cultural heritage. Layout and editing has just finished, and the book will be printed and distributed worldwide by the publisher at the end of 2011. It was possible to keep the price of the book very low; less than GBP 20 in sale, and therefore available for public.
- One scientific peer reviewed paper on microbial degradation in the Baltic Sea was submitted for publication and is currently under review. Additional four peers reviewed scientific papers will be submitted and published after the end of the project.
- Three international conference papers on the WRECKPROTECT project are in press and additional five papers will be submitted and published after the end of the project.
- The final seminar and workshop was very successful and attracted 31 participants from 11 European countries. The knowledge provided by WRECKPROTECT was disseminated in an efficient way, and the meeting and interaction gave the opportunity for future European networking. During the seminar, the comprehensive work by WRECKPROTECT was presented and discussed. The workshop was divided into four stations:

- demonstration of the GIS model by computer;
- identification of fungal and bacterial decay inside the wood timbers;
- presentation of the shipworm Teredo navalis;
- demonstration of protection methods for in situ preservation;
- the training school gave a unique possibility for three European marine archaeologists and conservators from Sweden, UK, and the Netherlands to practice and experience the difficult techniques of underwater protection of wreck in situ. Well experienced partners of the WRECKPROTECT project gave instruction and supervision both prior diving, and during the underwater operation.

Contractors involved:

The cross-scientific project team involves geophysicists, marine biologists, marine archaeologists, wood scientists, and conservators. The consortia consists of six partners from three countries: the Netherlands, Denmark, and Sweden.
figures-photo-tables-final-report.pdf