Cities Uniting in Ecosystem Protection
The Baltic Sea, a vast and vital body of water, is getting some much-needed attention, thanks to the international ‘Save our Sea’ campaign. This unique ecosystem, with its shores touching 9 nations and over 100 cities, is under threat. In response, the ‘Save Our Sea’ campaign was launched on 31 August 2023.
It’s set to culminate on World Cleanup Day, 16 September 2023 – with cleanups and awareness-raising events taking place throughout this period. This ambitious initiative is a joint effort led by Tallinn, the European Green Capital 2023, along with the City of Helsinki and the Let's Do It World NGO.
A Precious Ecosystem in Peril
Spanning an area 4 times the size of the sea itself, the Baltic Sea region is home to a population exceeding 85 million people, living in 9 countries. The importance of the Baltic sea cannot be overstated. However, the water body faces numerous environmental challenges, including slow water circulation and pollution.
It takes approximately 30 years for the Baltic Sea to complete a full exchange of its waters, making it highly susceptible to environmental shifts. Currently, it grapples with issues like dead zones, cigarette butt pollution, medical waste contamination, excessive fertilizer usage, and microplastic pollution. But all is not lost – the ‘Save our Sea’ campaign is here to help!
Uniting the Region in Action
The ‘Save Our Sea’ campaign aims to tackle these challenges head-on by raising awareness and encouraging positive behavioral change. It's a region-wide effort that unites the Baltic Sea cities and their residents in Finland, Åland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden, Denmark, and Germany.
As of now, 37 cities and counties are participating, with approximately 71 events planned across 8 countries – and it’s growing by the day! This campaign is a call to action for all citizens to participate in beach clean-up initiatives and prevent plastic pollution from reaching the Baltic Sea.
Heidi Solba, President and Head of the Global Network of Let's Do It World, emphasizes the significance of this campaign – pointing out that the Baltic Sea is young and fragile, which makes it susceptible to environmental shifts and pollution.
She encourages individuals in the region to get involved, saying, "The sea starts right where you are, thus every action matters. Choose one change in your everyday life to contribute to the preservation of the Baltic Sea."
Collaboration is Key
One of the strengths of the ‘Save Our Sea’ campaign is its collaborative nature. It encourages cooperation between neighboring countries, cities, organizations, and citizens. By working together, this region can raise awareness of the Baltic Sea's importance in our daily lives and make a sustainable impact on behavior. This collaborative effort will ensure a cleaner environment for present and future generations.
The ‘Save Our Sea’ campaign is not just about cleaning up the Baltic Sea though; it's also about preserving a precious ecosystem that is essential to the lives of millions. With the engagement of cities and communities across 9 Baltic Sea countries, this campaign is an inspirational example of how collective action can lead to lasting, positive change.
With World Cleanup Day on its way, on 16 September, the launch of this campaign is a perfect moment to reflect on the importance of our marine environments, and our collective power to help preserve our seas and oceans.
Together, we can make a difference – one beach clean-up and awareness-raising event at a time!