This issue of AHEM contains a series of papers constituting a part of the scientific material presented and discussed during the Polish-Russian Conference entitled “Coastal hydro-, litho- and morphodynamics in the east part of the Gulf of Gdansk”. The Conference was organised in Lubiatowo, nearby the IBWPAN Coastal Research Station (CRS), in the period from 25 to 28 May 2010.
A major objective of the event was to sum up recent studies by Russian and Polish researchers relating to the Conference topic. These studies, both theoretical and experimental, have been conducted for many years within a few Polish and Russian national projects, as well as under auspices of the joint Polish-Russian bilateral cooperation. One should acknowledge the latest project conducted under the agreement on scientific cooperation between the Polish Academy of Sciences and the Russian Academy of Sciences, namely “Dynamics of non-tidal shores and river mouths under anthropogenic pressure” (2008–2010) which will be followed by “Development of the scientific basis for shore protection of the South Baltic coast” (2011–2013). From the Polish party, this collaboration has been coordinated by Professor Zbigniew Pruszak (IBW PAN) while on the Russian side it has been led by Professor Ruben Kosyan (P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Southern Branch in Gelendzhik – SB IO RAS) until 2010 and will be coordinated by Dr. Boris Chubarenko (P.P. Shirshov Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Atlantic Branch in Kaliningrad – AB IO RAS).
The Polish-Russian joint investigations, especially the ones concerning trans- -boundary issues relating to the Gulf of Gdansk and the Vistula Lagoon, have been possible due to a series of Agreements on the bilateral co-operation between AB IO RAS and IBW PAN, comprising the periods 2005–2008, 2009–2010 and 2010–2014 (the latter signed on 2nd March 2010).
The Conference in Lubiatowo was preceded by extensive theoretical research and field surveys carried out in the period from autumn 2008 to late spring 2010. They were partly sponsored by Russian domestic projects and partly by the Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education under the project N N306 280535, entitled “Variability of hydrodynamic and lithodynamic coastal processes in the east part of the Gulf of Gdansk”. In the course of the studies and analyses, a thorough review of available literature has been conducted and a lot of archival data have been processed and exchanged between the parties. Mathematical models have been applied to determine parameters of the physical coastal processes in the east part of the Gulf of Gdansk. In addition, joint Polish-Russian in situ investigations were carried out twice – in November 2008 (in the Polish part of the Vistula Spit) and in August 2009 (along the entire Russian coast of the Gulf of Gdansk).
The research activities summarised at the Conference could never have been successful without enormous help from the coastal authorities, both in Russia and Poland. Considerable support from their representatives in the form of coastal engineering knowledge and field data was provided both before and during the Conference in which, aside from scientists from IBWPAN and AB IO RAS, the Polish and the Russian coastal officials took part. This group of experts was represented, among others, by the Chief Inspector of Coastal Protection and the Chief Specialist on Coastal Spatial Planning from the Maritime Office in Gdynia (the Polish coastal authority subject to the Ministry of Infrastructure) and the delegation from “Baltberegozashchita” in Kaliningrad (the Russian counterpart of the Polish Inspectorate of Coastal Protection in the Maritime Office), including the Director of this coastal administrative entity in the Russian Federation (Kaliningrad Oblast).
The Conference presentations and discussions were focused on qualitative and quantitative findings on the wave climate and longshore sediment transport in the east part of the Gulf of Gdansk, as well as on practical coastal engineering issues related to hydrodynamic, lithodynamic and morphodynamic phenomena in the region.
An additional session of the Conference was also held, during which participants visited the Coastal Research Station (CRS) in Lubiatowo. During this session, results of field surveys carried out in recent years were presented, together with research plans for the coming years.
The Conference was a good opportunity to discuss prospects on further joint research ventures within various programmes and projects, both national and European.
Additionally, one day of the Conference was devoted to a technical trip during which the participants had an opportunity to get acquainted with a variety of coastal protection measures undertaken on the shores of the Hel Peninsula and at the cliff in Jastrzebia Góra.