Restoring a Healthy Vejle Fjord


The environmental condition of Vejle Fjord has been categorized as bad in the inner and outer fjords. For the past 40 years, the Vejle Fjord has struggled to mitigate the runoff from industries and cities around the area, causing eutrophication and biodiversity loss. 

The 5-year-project (2020-2024) was initiated by the Nature and Environment Committee and the Board of Directors for Vejle Ådal & Fjord, with a budget of 25 mio. DKK. The project aims to improve the ecological condition of the fjord and strengthen biodiversity by:

  • Restoring eelgrass beds

  • Establishment of new mussel banks 

  • Establishment of stone reefs

  • Catching crabs 

Other important measures include continuous monitoring and data collection and analysis, citizen involvement and mobilization, and lastly communicating the situation of the Fjord to the public to create awareness. The Fjord is already reaping the benefits of these actions, resulting in an increase of eelgrass beds and fish diversity and abundance. 

Eelgrass beds are important habitats in marine ecosystems that provide homes to smaller organisms for larger prey, as well as shelter various fish species and macroalgae. Furthermore, they help stabilize sedimentation, reduce wave force, and contribute to the sequestration of “blue carbon”. The new mussels banks help filter the water, letting sun reach the eelgrass beds, while the rock reefs protect the eelgrass by making calmer waters. Crabs can pose a significant threat to the establishment of eelgrass beds, therefore the crabs are fished so the eelgrass can anchor to the sediment.

Potential impacts/benefits: 

Fostering biodiversity

Carbon sinks

Water and marine system restoration

NbS benefits 
  • Better protection and restoration of coastal ecosystems
  • Developing climate change mitigation
  • Carbon sequestration and storage
  • Restoring ecosystems and their functions
  • Increase Biodiversity
  • Improve water quality
  • Increase communities’ sense of ownership
  • Increase stakeholder awareness & knowledge about NBS
  • Increase willingness to invest in NBS
  • Social learning about location & importance of NBS
  • Sustainable development of coastal regions

The Healthy Vejle Fjord Project runs on donations received from Vejle municipality, Velux Fonden and DTU Aqua. 

The Project has received 24, 8 mio. DKK.

Sustainable Development Goals 
  • 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • 13. Climate Action
  • 14. Life Below Water