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Vistula Spit Canal

A new canal across the Vistula Spit is planned to be opened this year, most likely already in September 2022. The canal will enable ships to sail from the port of Elblag, northern Poland, to the Baltic Sea without passing through the Russian-administered Strait of Baltiysk.

The 1.3-kilometer canal is part of a massive project requiring the construction of new water routes, an artificial island, civil engineering, and road infrastructure. The total length of the new waterway from the Bay of Gdańsk through the Vistula Lagoon to Elbląg will be almost 23 km.

The project faced several challenges during the preparation and realization phase. Russia has opposed the canal’s construction as they consider it a threat to the security of Kaliningrad and the Russian Federation. (NATO warships could enter the Vistula Lagoon without passing close to the Russian military facilities at Baltiysk.)

Also, the environmental impact had to be considered as Vistula Spit, and Vistula Lagoon is part of a Nature 2000 protected area. The construction impacted various species living in the area, such as cormorants and Baltic seals as well as the Bialowieza Forest.

As per Polish Deputy Minister of Infrastructure Marek Grobarczyk the canal will have an impact on the industrial development of eastern Poland and the port of Elblag. While Elblag is not as big as Gdansk or Gdynia, its location closer to Warsaw and the Baltic Countries would make it significant.

Contributor: Lucie Jachkova

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