The Baltic Sea is a one-of-a-kind ecosystem with its low temperatures and brackish waters. It’s also extremely vulnerable and, because of human activity, under threat. In 2022, we collaborated with the John Nurminen Foundation (JNS) to protect the unique and delicate inland sea. We donated 1 % of our web store sales to the Foundation, racking up to a donation of 10 000 €. Now, as we enter 2023, it’s a good moment to step back and review the important work put out by the Foundation.  

In short, the JNS’ goal is to save the Baltic Sea – the sea that is unique in the world and immeasurably important to us Finns. The Foundation’s efforts range from raising awareness to influencing social decision-making, but much of the Foundation’s efforts aim at battling the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.  

Simply put, eutrophication is what happens when excess nutrients end up in the sea. The nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, feed the growth of algae, leading to cloudy waters (with less precious sunlight reaching the bottom), oxygen deficiency, and increased levels of poisonous blue-green algae.  

This is a tremendous threat to the delicate biodiversity of the small sea. For instance, eutrophication threatens the survival of certain species of the Baltic Sea, like the bladderwrack, blue mussels, and eelgrass.  

All of these species play a crucial role in the delicate ecosystem of the sea. For instance, blue mussels clean up the water and provide habitat and nutrition for other species – while bladderwrack and eelgrass provide excellent spawning areas for fish. Knowing this, it’s easy to understand why the JNS stresses the following: “The most effective way to save the Baltic Sea is to reduce eutrophication.” 

The folks at John Nurminen Foundation have rolled up their sleeves to combat eutrophication in numerous ways. The actions the Foundation has taken in 2022 (and will take in 2023) include developing fertilizer processing in ports to reduce the amount of fertilizer waste in the seas, offering free-of-charge gypsum treatment to farmers in Åland to reduce the nutrient emissions ending up in the sea, and seeking for practical solutions to minimize chemical discharges into the sea from tank washing at Finnish ports. And more. 

We’d like to thank the John Nurminen Foundation for the year we shared. The work the Foundation does is extremely important, and it has been an honor to be involved in it. If you want to read more about the Foundation or help them in the project of saving the Baltic Sea, you can read more here.

You can also explore our JNS Collab – the proceedings from the collaboration are directed to the John Nurminen Foundation to help them help the Baltic Sea.

Photography by Antti Rastivo.