The Rotarians’ charity event “Rowing for Baltic Herring”, organised in October, brought together more than 200 friends of the Baltic Sea in Helsinki city centre to row on church boats. With the help of participation fees and corporate sponsors, the event managed to raise €6,000 for the Baltic Sea. The funds raised were donated to the Finnish Environment Institute Syke at an event in Riihimäki, and they will be used for diving equipment of the research vessel Aranda.

“There is a nasty time bomb ticking in our seas: shipwrecks from which dangerous substances can escape into the fragile ecosystem of the Baltic Sea. We are trying to identify these threats through underwater surveys from Aranda. The aim, of course, is to defuse these time bombs, i.e. to remove the oil and other harmful substances. Thanks to the funds raised by Rowing for Baltic Herring event, we can do this urgent and important mapping work more efficiently than ever before,” says Juha Flinkman, Development Director of the Finnish Environment Institute.

The research vessel Aranda is searching for and studying the wartime wrecks on the bottom of the Baltic Sea that still contain harmful substances such as oil-based fuels and lubricants. Together with explosives in unexploded ordnance (UXO) and chemical weapons dumped at sea, they pose a growing threat to the fragile environment of the Baltic Sea.

“Environmental protection is one of Rotary’s priorities, and the Baltic Sea is, of course, close to the hearts of those living in the capital region. The seven clubs in the capital region have organised the Rowing for Baltic Herring event 10 times already. In addition to this, Rotarians are involved in activities such as blue-green algae monitoring, mapping of beach garbage and water backpack distribution to schoolchildren both in Finland and on other shores of the Baltic,” says Markku Juhola, chairman of the steering group of the Rowing for Baltic Herring event.

The funds raised in the event were donated to Syke on Wednesday, 25.1. in connection with the weekly meeting of the Riihimäki – Hausjärvi Rotary Club.

Rowing for Baltic Herring event is organized by seven Rotary clubs: Finlandia Hall, Helsinki Baltic Sea, Helsinki International, Herttoniemi-Hertonäs, Pasila-Fredriksberg, Riihimäki-Hausjärvi and Vantaa-Myyrmäki. Rotary District 1420 of Southern Finland and Estonia is also involved.

In addition to the University of Helsinki, Stadin Silakkamarkkinat and the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke), the event’s partners were Sulkavan vene, Viking Line, City of Helsinki, Netprofile, Korjauspartnerit, Prodomus, Ventoniemi, Helsingin Suomalainen Klubi and the Sea Rescue Association.

Read more about the event!