The Baltic Sea is one the most beautiful. Polluted bodies The Earth. Algal blooms are caused by nutrient runoff, which deplete oxygen and make water dark and murky. Urban litter and industrial chemicals can endanger the ocean’s ecosystems. Climate change and overfishing are also having long-term impacts. The region’s fishing industry has been affected by the collapse of stocks of species such as Baltic Cod.

Clean up

Mari Sepp manages Estonia’s embassy. Cleanest project This project is co-funded through the EU’s LIFE program. It focuses on inland waterbodies, including rivers that pollute the sea. Sepp claims that the Baltic Sea has seen a reduction in nutrient pollution by around 50% over the past 30 year. The main focus is now on nutrients, rather than dangerous substances like marine litter and drug residues.

The Purtse river in Estonia is contaminated by toxic chemicals from former industrial sites. There was once a tyre repair plant right next to it in Soviet times. The factory’s grounds were drenched in industrial fuels during its operation. CleanEST has successfully removed 14,000 cubic metres of highly contaminated soil. Stopping the spread and pollution .

Olav Ojala (a consultant for the Estonian Ministry of the Environment’s Water Department) explained that oil didn’t just remain in the soil. The substances also continued spreading into drinking water, rivers, or the sea. He said that oil contains carcinogenic and toxic chemicals and that the more oil remains in the soil, the more they spread.”

All contaminated water bodies need to be identified and cleanedTo prevent further pollution of Baltic Sea. The Erra River flows near the Baltic coast in northern Estonia. Its bottom is covered in petroleum pitch, up to half a meter thick. It will soon be removed.

This hazardous industrial residue is a sticky, smelly substance. The Soviet Union saw the oil shale industry as a major industry. deposited untreated waste in ditches or rivers . Currently, riverbanks are still covered in layers of solidified bitumen.

Raimo Jaaksoo is a project manager at the Estonian Ministry of the Environment’s Water Department. Their research revealed that approximately 40 000 cubic meters of the substance were found in the Erra River. He said that the substance would be removed and deposited in a landfill for hazardous materials. He says it will not cause any harm to the environment.

The Curonian Spot is a small peninsula of sand dunes located between Russia and Lithuania. Its fragile beauty is a strong symbol of international conservation efforts within the Baltic region.

Groundbreaking cooperation

In September 2020, Europe’s commitment to restoring the sea’s health was renewed by the Union. A groundbreaking conference was called ‘Our Baltic’ brought together government ministers, scientists, NGOs and industry stakeholders and was hosted by the European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries, Virginijus Sinkevičius. He told us that he is proud of the conference, which brought together ministers responsible for environmental issues as well as other ministers involved in agriculture and fisheries.

He explains that they signed a joint statement at “Our Baltic”, and then three weeks later, at a Luxembourg council, they agreed on the total allowed catch (TACs), as well as quotas, for the Baltic Sea area within the scientific limit.

We continue to implement our biodiversity strategy and our farm to fork approach, but we also have a number very important projects that address actual pollution sources around Baltic Sea.

Virginijus Sinkevičius
European Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries

Prevention vs clean up

The EU is working to remove pollutants. A large industrial shipyard located in Klaipeda, just across from the Curonian Spot, is an example of this. It is part a second EU-funded project, “The Stream”.Fit for REACH “. The shipyard is working to replace toxic chemicals in its production processes with safer alternatives.

Jolita Kruopiene is a researcher in environmental engineering at Kaunas University and Consultant for Fit for REACH. It is better to focus on prevention than trying to fix problems that have already been caused. She adds that it is a win-win situation. It’s good for clients, the environment, workers, and companies.

The Vakarų metal plant produces components for ships….

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