It is day of the hiking expedition around the Baltic Sea!

Let's raise waves of change

And unite for a healthier sea!

Ignitis
9 Months of hiking
8 Visited countries
~6000 Kilometers
Why? The Baltic Sea is among the world’s top five most polluted seas.

Each of us, sometimes unwittingly, contributes to this unfortunate statistic. Yet, by joining hands, we can save our precious waters and the life within them for future generations.

This is the main message of our historic hike around the Baltic Sea that will take place in 2024, with a principal goal to catalyse action for reducing marine pollution in 8 Baltic Sea countries.

How? How are we going to do that?
RAISING AWARENESS

We will set on a hike with a unique communication campaign to raise waves of change on an international level, with an aim to draw public attention to the current state of the sea and ways to contribute to its improvement.

EDUCATIONAL ACTIVITIES

Together with Baltic Sea science institutes and environmental organisations, we will invite the citizens of each country to take a closer look at our sea and its issues, as well as engage in citizen science activities and cleanups.

CO-CREATING SOLUTIONS

‘Living lab’ workshops will gather local stakeholders and community representatives to search for the most suitable ways to reduce negative impacts on the Baltic Sea in each location.

News Latest news and expedition blog entries

The hiking expedition around the Baltic Sea undergoes a radical change. Hikers return home

On March 11, the team of 10 hikers set off from Smiltyne to hike around the Baltic Sea, aiming to visti 8 countries and cross over 6,000 kilometers in 9 months. The expedition goal is to inform the public about the condition of aquatic ecosystems, the impact of human activities on the sea, and ways […]

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11th week. Longest bench in Sweden and a fallen moon

Week 11 recap is here! While hiking, you never know what you might find – perhaps the longest bench in Sweden or a fallen moon? Maybe a scenic path at the summit or a flock of sheep? Or if you’re lucky, you might encounter a group of Lithuanians with a giant Lithuanian cake šakotis! Continue […]

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10th week. Slow living constantly on foot and a visit from a documentary crew

This week we got a visit from a documentary crew, they got to join, not only observe but also observe the daily routines of the hikers all by the beautiful rocky coastline of Sweden. Happy watching!

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9th week. Finding peanut butter, losing glasses.

Recap of the 9th week, 1365 km in total. Swedish coastline brings new challenges. Check it out!

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8th week. Beach litter – like amber after a storm

Recap of the 8th week, 1256 km in total, experiencing the Danish coast and 4 days in Copenhagen. “If you want to go fast – go alone. If you want to go far – go together.” Check it out!

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Save The Baltic Sea expedition addresses Baltic Sea concerns in Germany

The hikers of the expedition Save The Baltic Sea, which has been continuing for nearly two months already, have crossed a 400-kilometer section in Germany. Along the way, the expedition team and local scientists invited residents to take a closer look at the state of the Baltic Sea and share best practices in tackling pollution. […]

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7th week. Meeting the community of Lithuanians living in Germany and muddy boots.

Recap to the 7th week, 1132 kilometers, meeting with Lithuanian living in Germany and muddy boots! Check it out!

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6th week. Beach litter monitoring and being recognized by locals

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5th week. Spring on a German coastline, bloody injuries and birthday wishes

Busy week. Crossing into Germany, reaching 750km mark, meetings, living lab events, beach clean ups, … Watch all about it in this week’s video!

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WHAT IS HAPPENING to the Baltic Sea?
Eutrophication
Plastic pollution
Hazardous substances
Eutrophication

97% of the Baltic Sea is affected by eutrophication – excessive amounts of nutrients that cause
algal blooms.

This results in the development of dead zones – lifeless areas with not enough oxygen for marine animals
to survive.

The excess nutrients reach the Baltic Sea from unsustainable agriculture, improper disposal of industrial waste, and even household waste coming from cities and villages far away from the coastline.

Source: HELCOM 2023 State of the Baltic Sea Report

Plastic pollution

Cigarette butts, plastic bags, bottle caps, ghost nets and other litter can be found in most Baltic Sea beaches.

This litter not only affects the aesthetics of our environment – it may directly harm wildlife, release toxic substances and break down into tiny pieces of microplastics that can be ingested by animals and travel along
the food chain.

Municipal waste is another important source of microplastics: microfibers released when washing synthetic clothing are among the most common types of microplastics found in the Baltic Sea.

Source: HELCOM 2023 State of the Baltic Sea Report

Hazardous substances

Pharmaceuticals, pesticides, heavy metals, and oil products are only some of the hazardous substances that reach our sea and are detrimental to the health of marine organisms. These contaminants are often slow to degrade and are accumulated by animals such as fish or seals.

Hazardous substances can enter the sea due to human activity, such as overuse of pesticides in agriculture or improper disposal of chemicals, which cannot be effectively filtered by wastewater treatment systems.

Source: HELCOM 2023 State of the Baltic Sea Report

What can we do to help the Baltic Sea?
Prevent eutrophication
  • Choose vegetables and fruits grown on organic farms, this way supporting a more sea-friendly agriculture.
  • If you need to fertilize your garden or crops, choose organic fertilizers and make sure to not overuse them
  • Plant vegetation strips between crops and water bodies to filter nutrient runoff and reduce the amount of nutrients reaching the sea.
Reduce plastic pollution
  • Give up single-use and non-recyclable products and use what we already have at home.
  • Choose natural fiber clothes, and wash synthetic ones at the lowest possible temperature to reduce the shedding of microplastics
  • Regularly check our car tyre pressure and avoid sudden acceleration and slowing down while driving to reduce the shedding of microplastics from car tyres.
Control hazardous substances
  • Bring unneeded paint, bleaches, oils, pesticides and other hazardous chemicals to designated collection points for hazardous substances instead of throwing them down the drain, into the toilet or through rainwater grates.
  • Avoid using synthetic pesticides in your garden and choose vegetables and fruits grown on organic farms.
How do our daily choices impact Baltic Sea pollution?

Explore the virtual version of the art installation “The Sea Begins Here!”

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