Approaches to the environmental history of the Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is a unifying element for the nine countries surrounding the sea and for the about 85 million people living in its catchment area. It is often said that the Baltic Sea is the most polluted and the most protected sea in the world. Nevertheless, the long history of pollution and protection of the Baltic Sea remains completely unstudied. Historical analysis of the successes and failures of local, national, and international environmental institutions and issues gives insights to the future management of environment of the Baltic Sea. The project is based on the results provided by The Sea and the Cities -project which gave an empirical overview of the origins of water pollution and protection on the local level.

The following questions will be studied on national level: 1) When, where and how the coastal zone was perceived to be endangered by pollution and eutrophication? 2) Who acted, why and how in order to protect the sea in different regions and eras?

Project leader: PhD, Researcher Simo Laakkonen

Researchers: Sari Laurila, Tuomas Räsänen

Funding: Academy of Finland, BIREME research programme