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Tallinn celebrates Baltic Sea Day with seminar and beach clean-up

Baltic Sea Day is celebrated on 25 August to remind people of the importance of the maritime environment and to encourage them to take action to improve the state of the Baltic Sea. Tallinn is organising a thematic seminar and a clean-up event at Stroomi beach.

"The Baltic Sea has been important to people for thousands of years – first as a source of food, later as a trade route. Unfortunately, humans are also the reason why the marine ecosystem is currently suffering and withering. The Baltic Sea Day helps to draw attention to the responsibility of all people living near the sea to protect it and to find ways to use resources more sustainably. Every small step counts, starting with awareness and ending with concrete action," said Tallinn Mayor Mihhail Kõlvart

The Baltic Sea Day seminar will take place from 13-16 at the Noblessner Foundry (Peetri 10). The seminar features marine experts, urban planners and environmental specialists, and will be broadcast live.

Opening remarks will be given by Vladimir Svet, Deputy Mayor of Tallinn for Urban Environment and Public Works. There will also be a series of presentations by renowned experts. President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Professor of Mathematics at TalTech Tarmo Soomere will talk about sediment transport and water mixing in Tallinn Bay. Taavi Liblik, Senior Researcher and Head of the Department of Marine Physics at TalTech, will discuss the natural variability of the Gulf of Finland and the impact of human activities on the state of the marine environment. Ain Valdmann, Ph.D., Head of the Tallinn Urban Environmental and Public Works Department, will talk about the possibility of redeveloping the shoreline and the embankment of Pirita tee from the perspective of local authority. Aleksandr Timofeyev, Chairman of the Management Board of Tallinna Vesi AS, will discuss the surface water inlets and stormwater outfalls of the Tallinn Reid and the quality of their waters. Presentations will also be given on sea water quality in the Gulf of Tallinn, the biological processes that determine coastal water quality based on national monitoring data, using the example of the Tallinn Reid, and the impact of the Pirita River and its catchment area on water quality in the Tallinn Reid. Speakers and a detailed schedule can be found on the Baltic Sea Day website (in Estonian).

In cooperation with the Embassy of Finland in Estonia, the seminar will be followed by a panel discussion on "The sea begins at the shore - problems and measures on the different coasts of the common sea". Welcoming remarks will be made by the Speakers of the Parliaments, Matti Vanhanen and Jüri Ratas. Participants are Tarmo Soomere, President of the Estonian Academy of Sciences, Kai Myrberg, Chief Scientist at the Finnish Environment Institute, and journalist Kristo Elias as a moderator of the debate.
A beach clean-up will be held at Stroomi Beach, Kopliranna seafront area, from 16-19. Most of the waste found in the Baltic Sea and coastal areas is plastic and cigarette filters, which are toxic and not biodegradable. Every year in Estonia, almost 80 tonnes of cigarette filters end up in the environment, eaten by fish, and these toxic substances end up in the human food. Toxic substances released into the water from cigarette butts can persist in the water for up to 10 years and are lethal to aquatic life. In order to draw attention to the problem and raise awareness, the Tallinn Strategic Management Office and the Põhja-Tallinn District Government are inviting all nature-conscious residents of Tallinn to take part in a seaside clean-up.
Attention will be drawn to the importance of separate collection of waste, and waste from the seafront (cigarette filters, plastic, glass and mixed waste) will be collected separately  for recycling. The district government will provide all the necessary tools, as well as soup for lunch. Pre-registration is required at https://bit.ly/3JmIEsm.

The Baltic Sea Day focuses on the diversity and value of the sea. The day is celebrated with a series of events in Estonia, Finland, Sweden and Russia to encourage people and organisations to pay more attention to the Baltic Sea and to take concrete action to improve it. The Baltic Sea Day in Estonia is coordinated by the Finnish Institute in cooperation with the Embassy of Finland. The first Baltic Sea Day in Estonia was celebrated in 2020.

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