Deep Blue Sea

Baltic Sea; picture taken by Johanna Ek

I chose sustainable development goal number 14 from united nations development program; life below water. Why I chose this topic and what do we need to do in order to preserve our under-water life?

We as humans are dependent of water and its sources. As Finns from a land of thousands of lakes we have the opportunity to be close to water in almost every region, either it is the lakes or our sea coast. But already in my lifetime I have seen the changes that global warming and CO2 emissions do to our lakes and sea. As a child I could swim the whole summer in lakes close to my home. Today the case is different. Due to farming related pollution my nearby lake is eutrophicated after few weeks of warm weather.

Facts in a global level

Three quarters of earths surface is covered by ocean.

Ocean works as a buffer for the global warming impacts as it absorbs 30% of carbon dioxide.

Over 3 billion people are dependent on coastal biodiversity and marine.

Millions of species live in the oceans and 200 000 of those are identified.

40% of ocean are affected by pollution.

Goals by 2020

Managing and protecting marine and coastal ecosystem

Ending overfishing and harvesting

Conserving at least 10% of coastal and marine areas.

Increasing scientific knowledge

Here in Finland

Baltic seas most visible problem is eutrophication. Eutrophication has increased due to rainfalls and warm winters when nutrients runoff from land to Baltic sea. Water that has nutrients is ideal growth place for micro and filamentous algae. That causes suffocation to the healthy ecosystem of the Baltic sea. Due to Baltic seas shallow depth and smallness it is more at risk in comparison to other oceans.

There are foundations that has projects for saving the Baltic sea for example John Nurminen foundation and WWF. Also many private companies funds these foundations with their own campaigns. Cleaning company Freska is a good example; Freskas co founders started Itämeri et Co to save Baltic sea, from every cleaning they donated 0,50 euros to John Nurminen foundation.

Tips for saving the Baltic sea:

Eat locally produced seasonal food, only sustainably fished products and less meat.

Recycle and buy used clothes and products and avoid plastic usage.

Use public transportation and avoid flying.

There been a lot of discussion about plastic waste in the ocean that I didn’t even think about the environmental impacts off tobacco before my daughter enlighten me off it. She’s a real future environmentalist and very concerned about humans global impact. After hearing this from her I found an article from Yle.fi about this subject.

Tobacco waste pollutes oceans due to its components. It also effects animals and it has toxic chemicals like arsenic, cadmium and led. It is the worlds most common waste. Finland where we have reduced our smoking a lot since restriction off the law in 2007, but we still pollute our environment with 4 billion tobacco butts annually.

From these links you can test your Baltic sea footprint

https://johnnurmisensaatio.fi/en/baltic-sea-protection/test-your-baltic-sea-footprint/

http://www.splashgame.fi/fi-FI/

In order to save our seas we need to think consciously whit our choices. Education and teaching our offspring is essential for our global wellbeing!

Sources:

John Nurminen foundation https://johnnurmisensaatio.fi/en/

Yle.fi/ Luonto. 2016. Näin voit itse vähentää merien roskaantumista. https://yle.fi/aihe/artikkeli/2018/04/30/nain-voit-itse-vahentaa-merien-roskaantumista

https://www.undp.org/content/undp/en/home/sustainable-development-goals/goal-14-life-below-water.html

https://www.bsag.fi/fi/itameri-co-startupit-yhdistavat-voimansa-itameren-hyvaksi/

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