Water protection projects of clubs

Several district clubs are committed to water conservation activities

Clubs can implement any water and environmental conservation activities that are suitable for other small associations – from fundraising to raising awareness, concrete acquisitions, collaboration with other actors, and voluntary work.

Rowing for Herring

An fundraising and recreational event organized by seven clubs since 2013 on the opening day of Helsinki Herring Market, where Rotarians and partners row traditional Finnish church boats to collect funds for water conservation projects. Over 80,000 Euros have been raised for water conservation work over the years. Challenge your club to participate with your own boat!

Read more: silakkasoutu.fi

National blue-green algae monitoring

Rotarians are extensively involved in national blue-green algae monitoring. In 2021, there were a total of 178 observation sites maintained by individual Rotarians or clubs, with 129 in the sea and 49 in inland waters. Rotary observers are trained, and the observation activities continue.

Observations start at the beginning of June and end at the end of September.

Read more on the Lake-Sea Wiki’s algae monitoring pages Järvi-meriwikin leväseurantasivuihin and Rotary’s own algae monitoring rotarien omaan leväseurantaan

Water Backbag

Originally developed by the Finnish Environment Institute, the Water Backpack is an environmental education concept where Rotary clubs collaborate with schools by providing backpacks containing research equipment for studying local waters and additional supplies. Clubs can apply for assistance from the Finnish and Estonian Rotary Service (SVRP) to cover the costs of the backpacks.

Read more: vesireppu.com

The Baltic Sea Thanks

Rotary clubs from Porvoo, Sipoo, and Loviisa activated children and young people to engage in water conservation activities in their areas from 2016 to 2018 in collaboration with local municipalities, associations, and companies, organizing about 70 events. This included beach cleanup campaigns, additional educational materials for schools, distribution of water observation backpacks to all primary schools, screenings of the film “Journey to the Sea” for high school students, organizing seminars, and supporting local associations with grants for their water conservation work.

Read more: https://rotary.fi/porvoolantinen/itameri-kiittaa/

Litter Monitoring in Patterilahti, Gulf of Finland

Littering is one of the global threats to marine environments. The district clubs Helsinki City West, Helsinki Baltic Sea, and Herttoniemi have been involved in a national monitoring and research project with the Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE) and Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association since autumn 2022. The project aims to investigate the amount of litter, types of litter, and sources of litter.

Rotarians are committed to counting and categorizing all the litter in the Susisaari Patterilahti area of the UNESCO World Heritage Site Suomenlinna. The clubs commit to three years of monitoring three times a year in Patterilahti, in spring, summer, and fall. All litter larger than 2.5 cm in size will be counted and classified. Approximately 20 Rotarians will be involved in rotating shifts.

Gumböle fishway

The Espoo Rotary Club participated in the Gumböle River fishway project in Espoo from 2013 to 2020. The club’s collaboration with the City of Espoo and the Uusimaa Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment (ELY Centre) began in 2013 during the planning phase of the fishway. The river features a museum-protected mill dam from the 18th century, which prevents migratory fish from reaching the upper reaches of the river.

The club played a significant role because, at their initiative in 2015, the fishway could be built on the eastern side of the river as a solution several hundred thousand euros cheaper. The final cost was approximately 250,000 euros. Such a large construction project requires extensive planning and various permits from authorities, including building permits, action permits, landscape work permits, water construction permits, and permits from the National Heritage Agency. These permits were finally obtained in early 2020, and construction began in the summer of 2020.

The fishway was officially opened on October 21, 2020, and the club committed to continue as the sponsor of the Gumböle River fishway, conducting inspection visits twice a year with rubber boots, gloves, and garbage bags to collect debris that obstructs the flow and remove harmful and invasive plants from the area.

Other activities

In addition, Rotary clubs have been involved in various projects, such as phosphorus trap experiments to reduce nutrient loading in fields, obtaining pump-out facilities for boaters, organizing Baltic Sea concerts, and participating in the restoration of headwater areas of Vantaa River.