During second half of the 20th century Lithuania lost more than two-thirds of former mire area which covered 10% of the country. This had
the effect of causing changes in the local and regional hydrological pattern, significant loss of wildlife and peat degradation, which in turn
resulted in various secondary negative effects: CO2 emissions (approximately 25% of currently reported anthropogenic CO2 emissions, which does not take into account emissions from peatlands), water pollution due to peat mineralization products and peat subsidence. The regulation of lakes, along with increased loads of nutrients caused a rapid deterioration of water quality, siltation, and overgrowth of the lakes or even the collapse of submerged vegetation. This further led to decreased water purification capacities, as well as
secondary pollution from sediments negatively affecting water bodies down the stream and, finally, the Baltic Sea †“ arguably the most polluted sea in the world.