Sustainable events

How to take water and environmental protection into account?

Rock the Baltic Sea campaign was a part of the WaterChain project. Campaign was initiated to increase awareness of water protection and the Baltic Sea challenges. Porispere festival, which takes place in Pori, Finland, joined the campaign and wanted to update their environmental plan in collaboration with Satakunta University of Applied Sciences. Status of environmental actions was monitored through several visits before, after and during the festival in summer 2017. The following points are gathered from the environmental plan to create an overview of the best practices that can be used by the majority of festivals.


For our sea’s sake 2017 & 2018

Meremme tähden (En. For our sea’s sake) is an annual Baltic Sea event organized in Rauma, Finland, to make people aware of the fact that protecting the sea is not “someone else’s job” but everyone’s responsibility.

The first Meremme tähden event was organized in March 2012, and it got such a warm reception among the visitors, that it was decided to be transformed into an annual tradition. Ever since Meremme tähden has been organized every year in Rauma.

In April 2017, WaterChain project took the helm of the event. This time the event was organized at the Merimäki Campus of Satakunta University of Applied Sciences in Rauma. The event was free of charge and open to everyone. The day consisted of various activities and informative stands, where the visitors took a peek beneath the surface, as the theme was “Pinnanalainen luonto” (En. Nature beneath the surface). There was also an hourly repeated set of brief and informative presentations related to water protection.

In May 2018, the public event took place at the SAMK Merimäki Campus in Rauma. The year’s theme “Merestä on moneksi” (En. The sea can offer plenty) covered various activities at the campus area and the port area nearby. In the morning, the schoolchildren were welcome to take a closer view of the Baltic Sea. The event offered a possibility to get to know different trades and professions related to the sea. One could for example visit the maritime simulators, study the food chain, admire the topsail schooner Kaljaasi Ihana, explore the sea rescue cutter, and examine what the micro plastics look like under a microscope. In the afternoon, the same activities were welcoming the adults, too. In addition, there was a set of brief presentations concentrating on how we can protect the Baltic Sea from hazardous substances, such as plastics, pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that might eventually be found on our own plate.

The WaterChain project challenges people to do their part and give their promises to the Baltic Sea by writing it down and hanging it up for everybody to see.

More information in Finnish:

Let’s Do It!

Let’s Do It! World campaign and Estonian Environmental Research Centre (EERC)

In order to raise awareness among public about the state of Baltic Sea and the amount of harmful substances entering the water circulation, EERC is planning to collaborate with the campaign Let’s Do It! World. Let’s Do It! World is a civic-led mass movement, with the goal of cleaning up the planet in one day – on World Cleanup Day – 15th of September 2018.

In order to help this great cause, EERC is planning to gather as much information as possible about the amount and type of collected garbage in the pilot area during Teeme Ära talgupäev – 5th of May 2018. Teeme Ära talgupäev is an annual community activities day, where every community or organization decides themselves what needs to be done in their community: this includes clean-ups. From the collected information the rough estimation of the amount of “captured” harmful substances (e.g. Bisphenol A and perfluorinated compounds) can be calculated.

The results are planned to be published in an article, which will be circulated among interested parties and in the social media. With this information EERC is hoping to point out the importance, and the potential, of civic movements in the process of reducing harmful substances in the environment, as well as showing that simply picking up the garbage does make a difference for our health and for the planet.

Pesticides exhibition

As a part of the WaterChain project, an exhibition “Pesticides” was created.

Combining art with science, Kärt Viljalo (Estonian Environmental Research Centre, Tallinn University) and Marko Veinbergs (Tallinn University) aimed to bring the problem of pesticides closer to the public. The exhibition combined photographs by Marko Veinbergs with descriptive information about pesticides. With the aim to attract a wider audience the information was provided in two languages: Estonian and English.

The exhibition “Pesticides” gave the audience a general idea about what pesticides are, what types can be used (herbicides, insecticides, fungicides and zoocides), who the biggest consumers in the world are (Europe), and what kind of harm can pesticides do to the environment (deterioration of pollinator’s health and abundance, food and soil contamination with chemicals), as well as the benefits of using the pesticides (higher food quality, longer shelf life, improved food security, healthier livestock, and reduced veterinarian costs). Additionally the exhibition explained the work of Estonian Environmental Research Centre and showed what kind of pesticide residues have been found in Estonian waters so far.

The exhibition was organized in collaboration between Marko Veinbergs, Estonian Environmental Research Centre, Tallinn University and Tallinn University of Technology.

“Pesticides” was open to public at Tallinn University from 28 Sept. 2017 till 19 Nov. 2017 and at Tallinn University of Technology from 20 Nov. 2017 till 01 Feb. 2018. Complementing the exhibition, two public events were held: an opening event at Tallinn University on 28 Sept. 2017 and a topical seminar at Tallinn University of Technology on 30 Jan. 2018.

The public seminar “Pestitsiidid Eesti vetes” (“Pesticides in Estonian Waters”) was held on 30 Jan. 2018 to conclude the exhibition period at Tallinn University of Technology, inviting all interested parties to participate. The event was advertised via Central Baltic Waterchain and TTÜ Student union‘s Juulius Tipikas Facebook pages and TTÜ official web-page. During the seminar, a brief overview of the WaterChain project was given as an introduction, after which a representative of Estonian Environmental Research Centre introduced the results of analyses of pesticide residues in Estonian waters (groundwater, surface water).

Latvian summer school

A long-term improvement of environmental status relies on several factors, such as a comprehensive understanding of the interaction between the different ecosystem elements, a stakeholder recognition of the problem and acceptance of the proposed solution as well as the next generation of experts who can use the latest technologies for an improved understanding of the studied problem. A 10-day international student summer school was organized by Lake Ungurs in Latvia by the Institute for Environmental Solutions at the end of August 2017.

Approach – the whole is greater than the sum of its parts

By joining several ongoing initiatives (research and innovation projects, a lake management plan development, communication with locals, training of students) under the common summer school theme, the students received both theoretical and practical knowledge of numerous interrelated sectors as well as the experience of how to interact with different stakeholder types. Additionally, the pooling of resources* not only helped the organizers to organize a better event, but the experience was also more meaningful to the other stakeholders – the locals, the municipality and entrepreneurs.

The target audience of the summer school were international graduate (MSc) and postgraduate (PhD) students, as well as members of the public who wanted to learn about the basics of the lake ecosystem functioning and management. IES announced on its website an open call to select the best 12-16 candidates, while also distributing the information through its network. As a result, 14 students from seven countries (Estonia, Ukraine, France, Turkey, India, Brazil and Latvia) were chosen to participate in the event.

Objectives – provide theoretical and practical experience for the students in the development of an evidence-based, holistic and local-accepted lake management plan

The summer school had four main objectives.

  1. Collect the scientific data that was necessary to develop an evidence-based, sustainable lake management plan for Lake Ungurs managed by Pargauja municipality.
  2. Promote the use of multidisciplinary teams consisting of fishery, engineering, forestry, agriculture and technology experts who can jointly develop holistic solutions to environmental problems.
  3. Involve entrepreneurs, municipality decision-makers and the local community in the development of proposed solution (a lake management plan) that has since been adopted by the municipality.
  4. Provide the students with meaningful theoretical and practical experience on how to develop sustainable environmental solutions.

Proceedings – breaking borders between knowledge and practice across multiple sectors and stakeholder groups

The students had direct access to 10 international experts (from Estonia, Finland and Latvia) who shared their knowledge of topics ranging from zoobenthos to satellites and who afterwards were engaged in supervised practical activities. Furthermore, the theoretical and practical activities of sampling (using traditional as well as drone-based methods) and laboratory work were complemented by a pitching competition to entrepreneurs, visits to local places of interest (e.g. peat bog), consultation with the locals and presenting the result to the municipality representatives.

*The summer school was supported by European Regional Development Fund, Interreg Central Baltic Programme, the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Regional Development of the Republic of Latvia, Cēsis municipality, University of Latvia, Riga Technical University, a/s “RIX Technologies” and the Institute for Environmental Solutions.

Rock the Baltic Sea

Rock the Baltic Sea is a social media campaign initiated in 2017 to increase awareness of water protection and the challenges the Baltic Sea has faced for many years and still struggles to tackle. Everyone plays a role in the campaign – Rock the Baltic Sea brings together the musicians, festivals and music lovers. To do your part, share your promise to the Baltic Sea in the social media, and challenge others to take part too!

Festivals were a big part of the campaign. WaterChain took part in the festivals and promoted the cause by engaging people to give their promises to the Baltic Sea. The campaign caught people’s interest, and the Baltic Sea received dozens of promises from the general public.

During the first year, Porispere festival (Pori, Finland) took the challenge and promised to leave the festival area cleaner than it was before the festival. Rock the Baltic Sea collected people’s promises in recycled strips of banderoles and hung them up for everyone to see.

Also Fishbait Rock Festival in Åland promised to make environmentally conscious choices when organizing the festival. For example, they preferred locally produced food and beverages, and their vision was to donate the festival revenue to the Baltic Sea Foundation.

Rock the Baltic Sea campaign crew from SAMK collected people’s promises in recycled strips of banderoles and hung them up for everyone to see at Porispere festival in Pori, Finland, in August 2017.


In 2018, Rock the Baltic Sea campaign will be organized under a boating related Central Baltic project – the PortMate project. The campaign will be a part of the PortMate Sailing campaign.

Rock the Baltic Sea website

Rock the Baltic Sea Facebook

Rock the Baltic Sea Instagram

Rock the Baltic Sea Twitter

Julle Kallio promises to leave all the use of unnecessary plastic. He is challenging all Pori’s and Satakunta’s musicians to the Rock the Baltic Sea -campaign!

Let’s rock for the Baltic Sea


Baltic Sea Savers

In September 2016, a social media campaign was launched to save the Baltic Sea. The aim of the campaign was to make everybody, especially youngsters, aware of the water quality issues of the Baltic Sea. In Finland, the Baltic Sea Savers campaign was launched in a school in Eurajoki as a part of the teaching process with 7th graders including activities in Finnish language, chemistry and art. The pupils evaluated the meaning of Eurajoki river in their own life, collected information on the river water quality and analyzed how the river affects the state of the Baltic Sea. As an activating element there was an art competition in the social media.

The Baltic Sea Savers art competition happened simultaneously in all WaterChain partner countries: Finland, Sweden, Åland, Estonia and Latvia. The artworks for the competition were published either in Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. See the artworks in the video below.

Campaign kick-off at Eurajoki co-ed school

Summary of the artworks

7th graders heading to save the Baltic Sea