The Baltic Sea

The Baltic Sea is one of the planet’s largest bodies of brackish water. A delicate mixture of salt water from the North East Atlantic and fresh water from surrounding rivers and streams blends in a highly sensitive and interdependent marine ecosystem, giving rise to unique flora and fauna. But these special qualities also make it vulnerable.


Why the Baltic Sea matters

The Baltic Sea is surrounded by nine countries that are home to more than 85 million people and diverse political, social and economic realities. Many of these people rely on a healthy Baltic Sea for their food and incomes, and many more treasure it as an important space for nature and leisure activities. Our own futures and the future of the Baltic Sea are inextricably linked.


Where is the Baltic Sea?

The Baltic Sea is highlighted below in blue.

View Regional Priorities in a larger map

Setting course towards a sustainable Blue Economy

Imagine a Blue Economy that actually helps bring the Baltic Sea back to health, by fitting within the boundaries of the sea’s ecosystems. Imagine that this process creates new jobs and economic opportunities. Imagine that every possible stakeholder gets involved, including government, business, academia, civil society groups, and individual more
	© WWF Sweden
The health of the Baltic Sea has long been viewed solely as an environmental concern, but this report shows that it must be viewed as an economic and social concern as well. Failing to restore the Baltic Sea will not only further impair the Baltic Sea environment but the ability to add these jobs and economic growth.
© WWF Sweden
Baltic Sea. Dragsfard, Finland.
© Mauri Rautkari / WWF

Threats to the Baltic Sea

Over the past 100 years, the Baltic Sea has degraded quite dramatically. Human pressures such as over-fishing, pollution and now increasingly the effects of climate change are altering the ecological balance and depleting renewable resources beyond safe biological limits. These pressures jeopardize the future use of the Baltic’s vast array of ‘ecosystem goods and services’, provided by nature for free.

The Baltic Sea is one of the busiest maritime areas in the world. In its report ‘Future Trends in the Baltic Sea’ WWF highlighted the growth projections for a number of sectors in the Baltic Sea region, almost all of which are set to grow substantially over the next 20 years – some by as much as several hundred percent. 

What WWF is doing

WWF has been working for several decades to identify solutions for restoring the Baltic to a healthy state. The WWF Baltic Ecoregion Programme is comprised of WWF and longstanding environmental organization partners in each of the nine coastal Baltic Sea countries. We are bound by our vision for “A healthy, diverse and resilient Baltic Sea, sustainably managed for the benefit of people and nature of the region.”

Blue Economy

In order to effectively mainstream ocean and coastal ecosystems into national budgetary and planning processes, we need to find a common language that enables common standards by which to value these important ecosystems… read more

Turning Adversity to Opportunity for the Baltic Sea

'Turning Adversity to Opportunity for the Baltic Sea' is a report, built upon the ‘Baltic Scenarios’  initiative, produced for WWF by the Boston Consulting Group demonstrating the economic and social benefits of choosing a better future scenario for the Baltic today, tomorrow and in 20 years.

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