Jaakkoo-Taara supports the protection of the Baltic Sea by sponsoring Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association

Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association is an environmental organization whose purpose is to mitigate the negative environmental effects of maritime activities. The organization will soon celebrate its 55th anniversary. Executive manager Aija Kaski says that being a member of the organization is a matter of honor for those involved in sea activities.

We have around 12,000 members who proudly display our Roope sticker on their boats to show their affiliation, Kaski says.

Members receive regular electronic newsletters and a printed member newspaper produced by Jaakkoo-Taara. Kaski notes that the newspaper is important to members.

– Through the newspaper, members get information about ongoing activities. Each issue also includes a member sticker, both of which are eagerly awaited. Our members feel honored to support our organization, Kaski says.

The environmental organization’s funding is largely dependent on membership fees, the Ministry of the Environment, and sponsorship partners. Jaakkoo-Taara has sponsored Keep the Archipelago Tidy for over 10 years because the Baltic Sea and protecting our waterways are important to us. Kaski is thankful for all the sponsors.

– Sponsorship partners are crucial for us to continue our work. We manage our finances very carefully and strive to use our resources efficiently. All our activities and services are open to everyone, not just our members, Kaski adds.

Roope service vessels are constantly working for the Baltic Sea

The organization’s work is evident in various ways both in the archipelago and mainland waterways. In the archipelago, Roope service vessels maintain 37 different Roope service stations. These vessels are responsible for emptying and carrying out maintenance at the service stations.

Keep the Archipelago Tidy brought a fixed boat bottom washer to Finland. The organization aims to reduce the amount of chemicals entering the water, including those from boat maintenance.

– We don’t intend to do everything by ourselves. We want to encourage boaters to learn and adopt new, more environmentally friendly methods, even though it takes time to internalize new practices in traditional boating, Kaski says.

All Finnish waterways end up in the Baltic Sea

There are many environmental organizations in Finland. The difference between Keep the Archipelago Tidy and the others is that they also work in inland waters throughout Finland. Kaski says that protecting lakes is also important.

– There is a lot of talk about the Baltic Sea, and it’s easy to forget that all lakes eventually drain into the Baltic Sea, so the condition of the lakes is important too. Almost the whole of Finland is part of the Baltic Sea’s catchment area, Kaski reminds.

The organization also spreads awareness in inland cities that the sea starts from stormwater wells. One concrete method has been to add signs to the drain covers in the streets, which have a fish saying, “I get stomachache from plastic.”

– It comes as a shock to many people that, for example, cigarette butts end up in the nearest waterway if they are thrown into the well. We remind people that the filters don’t decompose but instead release microplastics that end up in the sea, Kaski says.

Bring when you come, take away when you go – an easy rule to remember for those who are active in nature

Kaski offers general tips for anyone who wants to enjoy the sea.

– Bring when you come, take away when you go. Basically, everything you bring to the archipelago, you need to take away when you leave. It’s not allowed to leave trash everywhere, and the seashore is not a place to wash hair or carpets. The Baltic Sea can’t take any more extra nutrients, Kaski emphasizes.

Kaski says that everyone is free to enjoy the sea, for example by swimming or using SUP boards, but it’s not allowed to leave anything behind in the sea. The local impact can be significant, and the overall picture is discouraging, Kaski reminds.

– The footprint of an individual may seem small, but the change needs to happen in everyone’s mind for societal change to be possible.

An easy way to contribute is to participate in programs like Siisti Biitsi. Everyone can clean up trash from their local beach and report the trash through the application created by Keep the Archipelago Tidy.

– We are grateful for every piece of trash cleaned and reported. We forward the data to the environmental administration, which provides us with comprehensive information on the cleanliness of the beaches, Kaski concludes.

Jaakkoo-Taara is sponsoring Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association.