Polish MPs back plans for strategic canal to Baltic Sea

The Vistula Lagoon. Photo: NASA/commons.wikimedia.org
On Friday Polish MP’s backed ambitious plans to build a canal between the Vistula Lagoon and Gdansk Bay on the Baltic Sea.
The canal, if it goes ahead will be 5m deep and 1.3km in length. Its is to be built by digging through the Vistula Spit, which seperates the lagoon from the bay.
The aim of the ambitious plan is to allow deep vessels to enter Polands Elblag Sea-port without having to pass through the Strait of Baltisyk, which is within Russia’s Kaliningrad exclave.
401 MP’s voted in favour of the plans, with only 9 voting against. 18 other abstained. The plans will now be sent to the Polish parliament to be debated in the Upper House.
Work on the project will cost Poland 880m PLN, approx €204m, is due to start in 2018, with completion set for 2022.
The construction plans which were shunned by previous governments have drawn fire from environmentalists, who argue that the project would disrupt the migration routes of animals currently in habiting the Vistula spit, and would affect their natural habitat.
Residents of Krynica Morska, a popular tourist destination on the Vistula spit have been opposed to the plans since their inception, but Jerzy Wilk, an MP for Polands Law & Justive party, said the can would increase Polands security and open up access to ports in the area. He also added that the project would create thousands of jobs.