Holistic approach in lake restoration II – Project Hola Lake II

in Finnish: Järvien kokonaisvaltaisen hoidon kehittäminen II

Project duration: 1.1.2022-31.12.2023

photo: Kirsi Jortikka

Hola Lake is a transnational cooperation project between four research oriented organisations. Funding is from five Finnish LAGs and a Swedish LAG:

1. Project goals and beneficiaries of the cooperation

Lakes have great economical, recreational and ecological importance for the area and people therein. Several lakes suffer from eutrophication which threat the sources of livelihood as well as attractiveness of the area. This project aims at improving the ecological status of lake environment by developing lake restoration methods in a holistic way. The holistic approach takes into consideration both external and internal loading, which means actions both in the lake and in its catchment area.

The main focus of the project is on lake littoral area. Profound cooperation between organisations well-experienced in lake restoration will create a fruitful platform for sharing information and gathering best practises as well as developing new ideas for the most efficient measures for lake restoration. In successful lake restoration time scales needed are usually long and the involvement and commitment of local people in the management of their own environment is of crucial importance.

International cooperation provides unique possibilities to widen the area of project implementation and increases possibilities to find new ideas and know-how. Combining local networks of project partners will attract more people in local areas and solidify existing relationships between people who actively participate in lake management activities. This project is a fruitful example of continuation of the international cooperation, which was built between LAGs and project partners during the previous international Leader project, Hola Lake (Holistic approach in lake restoration).  

Main goals for the project are following:  

  1. Improve the knowledge and methods on the reduction of external loading
  2. Improve the efficiency of methods on the management of fish stocks
  3. Enhance the local and commercial use of fish management catch
  4. Improve the knowledge and methods of management of reed beds
  5. Enhance the use of harvested reed as raw material
  6. Increase the knowledge and involvement of local people in monitoring and control of harmful, invasive species
  7. Increase cooperation between local residents and surrounding organizations
  8. Increase international cooperation and create professional networks

2. Organisations which implement the project


Lake Vesijärvi Foundation (main applicant)

Lake Vesijärvi Foundation is a Finnish foundation, located in Päijät-Häme region. It was established by the municipalities of Asikkala and Hollola, the City of Lahti, and 3 private enterprises in 2007 for promoting and fulfilling measures aiming at improving the ecological status of Lake Vesijärvi and surrounding smaller lakes. Foundation combines public and private resources to secure funding for research, maintenance, and management efforts, and improves general public’s awareness of Lake Vesijärvi and its condition. Lake Vesijärvi Foundation has 5 permanent employees. It mainly outsources the practical measures for environmental management, but takes care of financial and administrational aspects like financing environmental projects, communication and other similar activities.

The Association for Water and Environment of Western Uusimaa (partner)

The Association for Water and Environment of Western Uusimaa (fin. referred as LUVY) is non-profit NGO founded in 1975 to promote research, monitoring and state of water bodies in Western Uusimaa region, southern Finland. LUVY works with water conservation, environmental protection and environmental health. Association’s activities include both common non-profit and business operations. LUVY has a long experience in ground water, inland and coastal surveillance, waste water monitoring as well as large scale of environmental services such as projects and consulting. Non-profit activities include e.g. environmental counselling and statements. The association has about 20 permanent employees and 10 temporary employees. The association is located in Lohja together with Luvylab Oy Ab. LUVYlab owned by LUVY and Lounais-Suomen vesi ja ympäristötutkimus Oy, provides services including microbiological and chemical testing of water and food samples. The accredited testing laboratory is authorized by the FINAS – Finnish accreditation services.

The Pyhäjärvi Institute (partner)

The Pyhäjärvi Institute is an independent non-governmental research, development and further education centre. Its special areas of expertise include food economy, sustainable agricultural production, management of aquatic systems, and water conservation and restoration. The Institute is located in the municipality of Eura, West Finland, in the province of Satakunta. It operates both on regional and national level and it is also actively engaged in international scientific research projects and co-operation networks.  Activities include applied and scientific research, providing training and advisory consulting for regional producers and companies and developing solutions for practical problems and testing innovations in the various fields of water management and food production. Institute has strong experience in putting scientific results into practice e.g. from development projects tackling runoff water management of agricultural land and irrigation, as well as developing methods and techniques for efficient use of by-products, and solutions for inland fishing trade. In connection with food production and aquatic research, institute also anticipate the effects of environmental and climate change to primary production, fisheries, and the use of water resources, and seek for practical adaptive solutions. The aim is to support sustainable use of water resources and food production. The Institute has 19 employees.

The municipality of Osby (partner)

The municipality of Osby has a long experience in the surveillance of lakes and running water and more than 100 lakes are situated in the municipality. The municipality is experienced in practical developments of river restoration measures with emphasis on fish and forested areas. In connection with a EU-project, Baltic Landscapes, demonstration sites for the waters in forests have been created as a result of a cooperation with Osby Naturbruksgymnasium and the Swedish Forest Agency. In an earlier Leader-project, the most important feeder stream of Immeln has been detailed mapped in an inventory and measures, aiming at improving the landscape, the water quality and habitats for fish, has been established as demonstrations sites along the river. The project leader of the Swedish part of the Hola Lake project, Agne Andersson, is employed by the municipality as an ecologist and an environmental strategist. The Osby municipality is situated in the northeast part of the province of Scania, Southern Sweden.

3. Planned joint and local activities  

Joint activities

Three joint workshops

Partners will organize workshops in turns: One workshop by Lake Vesijärvi Foundation, one workshop by LUVY, and one workshop by the Swedish partner. Detailed programme for the workshops will be planned during the project, but the workshops follow the four themes of the project:

  • Reduction of external loading, late summer 2022 (Regito AB/Osby)
  • Fish management and commercial use of management fish catch, winter/spring 2023 (LUVY)
  • Management and use of reeds, and the control of invasive species, autumn 2023, (Lake Vesijärvi Foundation)

A manual of best practices

Each partner chooses one of their sub-projects that is innovative, and new in the context of lake restoration, and write about the results obtained during the project. By the cooperation with other partners, the text will be improved and deepened, and included as chapters in a report called Manual on best practices from the Hola Lake II project.

Detailed content of the manual will be formalized during the project.

The manual will be written both in Finnish and in Swedish and published in electronic form in order to avoid any expenses and enable sharing the document with everybody having an internet connection.

The manual will be uploaded into the project webpage, the webpages of participating organisations and into the web pages of The Finnish Water Restoration and Management Network (FWRMN).

Lake Vesijärvi Foundation has the main responsibility for the manual, but the partners share the responsibility of different topics.

A joint web page

Lake Vesijärvi Foundation will take the responsibility to establish a web site that contains information of the project in Finnish and in English, a platform for communication and enables the creation and distribution of the manual of best practices.

All the partners are responsible of adding content to the web page and   sharing the relevant knowledge about the project and its activities.

Local activities