Even though we have been successful in cutting the load that enters the Baltic Sea from land, old nutrients that are stored in the seabed slow down the sea’s recovery and constitute an internal nutrient load. In March 2018, the Foundation launched the three-year SEABASED Project (Seabased Measures in Baltic Sea Nutrient Management), with the goal of reducing the consequences of eutrophication in the Baltic Sea. The project will assess measures that seek to improve the status of the marine area by reducing the internal load of the sea. Some of the measures can also support the circular economy by recycling nutrients from land to sea. Moreover, the project will pilot selected measures in the coastal area.
Measures piloted in the project include e.g. removing the sediment’s active, oxygen-consuming surface layer; recycling the nutrient-rich water from the proximity of the seabed for use in farming; and retaining phosphorus in the seabed sediment using natural, limestone-based materials. Moreover, a concept for a marine habitat bank will be designed in Åland; in the future, the concept can be a tool for local marine protection, applicable also in other locations.
The objective of the project is to engage various stakeholders of society in an open dialogue on the benefits and risks of the measures, and their applicability for the Baltic Sea.
The project is led by the John Nurminen Foundation, and project partners are the ELY Centre of Southwest Finland, Åland’s government, the Åland Fishfarmers’ Association, Stockholm University, County Administrative Board of Östergötland, and the Baltic Works Commission. The project is partly financed by the EU Interreg Central Baltic programme, and its total budget is approximately €2.8 million, of which the Foundation’s share, after national match-funding, is approximately €40,000.