"The future of the Baltic Sea is threatened. I therefore consider it important to involve myself and contribute to the Sustainable Seas Initiative"
Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Victoria
Patroness of the Sustainable Seas Initiative and "Tre Kronor af Stockholm
It’s possible to save the Baltic Sea!
The Baltic Sea is an inland sea in which salt water from the North Sea is blended with fresh water from various rivers and streams. The brackish water has a lower salt content, which means only a few species can survive there. Water turnover is low and it takes a full 40 years before fresh water is circulated. Therefore, the Baltic seas ecosystem is extra sensitive.
Man is the biggest problem
Surrounding the Baltic Sea are parts of 9 countries and 15 major cities on an 8 000 km long coastline. The marine environment is affected by almost 85 million people. Together, we release daily large amounts of waste and pollution in the form of nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), plastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and other substances that affect the environment. A large proportion ends up in the Baltic Sea, and due to the low water exchange, toxins remain for a long time.
The situation is critical
While the human impact on the environment increases, there are also major changes in the ecosystem. Fish stocks have been greatly affected, algal blooms occur in more places, and the seabed dies from lack of oxygen. Several animal species are declining significantly in numbers and many have environmental damage in the form of wounds and deformities. Along the Swedish northern coast the eagles have once again started to lay bad eggs, and the common eider bird has almost disappeared from the archipelago.
The ecosystem can recover
Fortunately, most ecosystems have the ability to recover – but for that to happen, environmental degradation must cease! Many different measures need to be implemented, and it is urgent, so all parties concerned must combine forces. If we decide to work together there is still time to save the Baltic Sea and its unique ecosystem.
What does The Sustainable Seas Initiative do?
We conduct advocacy and create awareness regarding the situation in the Baltic Sea and what needs to be done. Our network includes scientists, industry, organizations, municipalities, government agencies and individuals that share our commitment to the Baltic Sea. By means of exhibitions, seminars and our visits to ports around the Baltic Sea, we communicate the scientist´s latest findings to inform and generate debate, and to show how we can reduce the environmental degradation of the Baltic Sea. Our goal is to influence both individuals and policy makers to make the right decisions to save the Baltic Sea.