UNderwater DIscovery and Nature Experience

Baltic Sea: unknown beauty

Flowering seagrass meadows, densely populated reefs and perfectly camouflaged sand dwellers – not necessarily features that come to mind when thinking of our native Baltic Sea. Nevertheless, a closer look beneath its surface reveals fascinating communities, adaptations, shapes and colours right at our doorstep. Especially the Fehmarn Belt region with its sand ripples, saline channels, macroalgae forests and mussel habitats is an underwater treasure, boasting one of the highest species and structural diversity in the Baltic Sea.

Baltic Sea: known threats

If we could move as freely below the waves as on land and dive into the underwater realm more often, surely many more people would recognise the value of our marine environment – rather than damaging it through pollution, overfishing, global warming and eutrophication. A heavily used but ecologically sensitive inland sea, the Baltic Sea has been subject to various environmental impacts for decades and is now in peril in many areas. But how can we protect and preserve for future generations what most people are unaware of?

UNDINE: marine conservation through environmental awareness

Urgently required for the long-term protection of the Baltic Sea is a greater awareness for its unique beauty and ecological importance, spread both amongst the general public and amongst the users and decision-makers in the Baltic region. This is where UNDINE enters the stage. Common goal of this German-Danish project is to make the Fehmarn Belt region’s stunning underwater world more accessible and visible for both locals and visitors, especially guests of the sea such as sailors, divers and snorkellers. UNDINE aims to contribute to “UNderwater DIscovery and Nature Experience” and to promote the Fehmarn Belt region from a touristic perspective. Simultaneously, it strives to raise awareness for the much-needed protection of Baltic ecosystems.

UNDINE: joint action for the Baltic Sea

Together with experienced German and Danish partners working in the fields of environmental education, nature conservation, tourism and media design, the BUND SH as the lead partner will be creating various awareness-raising materials, conducting events and strengthening collaborations between 2012 and 2015. These efforts will help improve the accessibility to the wet realm of the Baltic Sea and, in the long term, the awareness for our native marine ecosystems and their need for protection.