Happy B-Day to the Baltic Sea!
Video credit: Race for the Baltic
On the 31st of August, the Baltic Sea’s very own day, we partook in a lovely event organised by Race for the Baltic in Stockholm, Sweden. The day consisted of presentations and panel discussions all about solutions and innovations that can help improve the health of the Baltic Sea, which is considered >90% eutrophic/dead (1). Eutrophication occurs when excessive amounts of nutrients from human activities accumulate and cause algae blooms, leading to ecosystem disruptions which put marine life and livelihoods connected to the Baltic at risk (1).
The Baltic Sea stretches from the northernmost periphery of Europe to central Europe and provides ecosystem services, products and recreational services to nearly 149 million people in the Baltic Sea region (2). Sweden is a major contributor to the eutrophication of the Baltic, as we annualy emit 15400 tonnes of nitrogen and 240 tonnes of phosphorus to surrounding water bodies (3). This is one big reason to why it was so great to be gathered in Sweden, with many Swedish startups, to discuss ways in which we can contribute towards bringing the Baltic back to life.
Thank you for having us and happy birthday to the Baltic <3 Here’s to a prosperous year filled with less nutrient inputs, less algae blooms and fewer dead zones!
(1) Barquet, K., Järnberg, L., Rosemarin, A., & Macura, B. (2020). Identifying barriers and opportunities for a circular phosphorus economy in the Baltic Sea region. Water Research, 171, 115433. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.watres.2019.115433
(2) Storie, J., Suškevičs, M., Nevzati, F., Külvik, M., Kuhn, T., Burkhard, B., Vikström, S., Lehtoranta, V., Riikonen, S., & Oinonen, S. (2021). Evidence on the impact of Baltic Sea ecosystems on human health and well-being: A systematic map. Environmental Evidence, 10(1), 30. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13750-021-00244-w
(3) Trela, J., & Płaza, E. (2018). Innovative technologies in municipal wastewater treatment plants in Sweden to improve Baltic Sea water quality. E3S Web of Conferences, 45, 00113. https://doi.org/10.1051/e3sconf/20184500113