Over 90,000 people from 43 cities and countries by the Baltic Sea participated in the activities of the Save Our Sea campaign organised by the European Green Capital Tallinn, Helsinki and the civic organisation Let’s Do It World.
“With the Save Our Sea campaign, we wanted to draw attention to the increasingly critical state of the Baltic Sea and to call on cities by the Baltic Sea and their residents to protect and preserve the sea,” said Krista Kampus, Executive Director of Tallinn – European Green Capital 2023. “We set a goal of organising 30 campaign actions – in the end, we had three times as many.”
“It also seems that the cities are interested in the future of their local sea as we and other organisers have been asked multiple times about future plans for the project. This makes us very happy,” she added.
Save Our Sea campaign took place from 31 August to 16 September 2023, starting with the Baltic Sea Day and ending with World Cleanup Day, with 89 events that had over 90,000 participants from Estonia, Finland, Denmark, Germany, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Sweden and Åland.
The most popular events were various sea litter cleaning campaigns, a lot of which took place on World Cleanup Day. Other popular events were for raising awareness, such as an eco-picknic in Poland, visits to the Aranda research vessel in Helsinki and Tallinn and the international seminar “Biodiversity in the Baltic Sea and Factors Affecting It”.
There were nine big events in Tallinn as part of the campaign, two of which are still ongoing. Altogether, at least 15,500 people will have participated in the campaign. 14 events took place in the rest of Estonia, most of them being cleanups taking place on World Cleanup Day.
In Tallinn, you can visit the circular economy exhibition and educational programme “Let’s Go To Zero!” at the Salme Cultural Centre until the end of November.
„We live in a produce-consume-abandon era,” explained Katarina Papp, main organiser of “Let’s Go To Zero!”. “Garbage seems to disappear fast, which makes it easy to ignore the waste problem. The “Let’s Go To Zero!” exhibition puts garbage right in front of us. How much is 13 kilograms of garbage – the average amount every Estonian produces each month? Or how many barrels of water is 2450 litres? That’s the amount it takes to make one white cotton T-shirt. Just the number doesn’t tell us anything, but if you actually see the real amount, you can get a deeper understanding.”
The school programme “Life on the Baltic Sea” will be held at Seaplane Harbour until the end of the year, where around 1800 children from 1st to 6th grade from 31 schools in Tallinn can learn about our home sea.
The Baltic Sea is one of the world's most heavily impacted seas. It supports unique ecosystems, which are severely affected by global threats such as biodiversity loss and climate change, as well as by local pressures such as eutrophication, overfishing, elevated levels of contaminants from pharmaceuticals etc., and litter—particularly plastic waste.
At the same time, the Baltic Sea basin—which is four times the size of the sea itself—is home to nine countries with a combined population of over 85 million people. A total of around 100 cities lie along the Baltic’s shores, bringing high levels of pollution.
For more information visit: www.seacleanup.org