The Baltic Sea is a familiar and important sea for us Finns. Due to its uniqueness it is vulnerable to various problems, such as eutrophication and pollution. We compiled a list of the challenges faced by the Baltic Sea and tips for its protection.
The Baltic Sea is an unusual sea due to its low salinity, weak tides, its position on a continental shelf and the shallowness that causes. The unique features of the Baltic Sea make it vulnerable to pollution. Protecting the Baltic Sea is especially important – it is our own neighbouring sea.
The Baltic Sea suffers from its special features and people’s actions.
The Baltic Sea is vulnerable to changes because of its uniqueness. Its different organisms endure less strain than those in oceans or fresh waters, because they are burdened by the low salinity and cold winters.
One of the main problems for the Baltic Sea is eutrophication. The eutrophication is partly a natural process, because nutrients rise to the surface at times from basins in the seabed. However, human actions have escalated the process. Nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphorous, spread into to the sea among the fertilizers trickling down from fields, municipal wastewaters and fallout from the air. In practice eutrophication causes algae growths, changes in the shores’ organisms and fish populations, and increases oxygen depletion in the seabed.
The Baltic Sea’s connection to oceans is very limited, which is problematic in terms of eutrophication. The sea is connected to the North Sea only through narrow straits of Denmark. The narrowness and shallowness of the straits limits the changing of water between the seas.
Other threats to the Baltic Sea are e.g. climate change, overfishing, littering, invasive species and possible oil spills.
Tips for protecting the Baltic Sea
There are many ways to protect the environment. It is best to favor local and seasonal foods, sustainable fisheries and organic foods while shopping and at the dinner table. Organic farming uses nutrients more efficiently, and no artificial fertilizers and pesticides are used in the production, so less load is put on the waters.
One should favor public transportation, walking and cycling when traveling. By reducing the emissions of traffic, the airborne nitrogen and other particles that fall into the waters are decreased.
When boating in the sea, make sure your motor is in working order to lessen the risk of oil spills. The bottom of the boat should also be kept clean to avoid unneccessary use of fuel.
At home and in the summer cottage you can take care of the Baltic Sea by making sure your wastewater management is up to date, since cleaner wastewater means less strain on the sea. This can be improved e.g. by using ProtectPipe’s HOME MICROBE -microbe solution. Other actions you can take are reducing water use and avoiding the use of cleaning products that contain phosphates and synthetic surfactants. Sorting and composting waste properly decreases the overall waste strain put on the environment.