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Finished projects

KAT’s sewage pumpout station in Nötö

BATSECO-BOAT (2018–2020)

Keep the Archipelago Tidy participated in the project BATSECO-BOAT during 2018–2020. The goal of the project was to improve the network for the reception of recreational boats’ sewage throughout the central Baltic Sea, from the Estonian coast to the most popular boating routes in the Finnish and Swedish archipelagos. The project aimed to find the most user-friendly and cost-effective solutions for collecting sewage and maintaining the network.


The release of sewage into waterways has been prohibited by law in Finland since 2005. Still, nearly 50 % of recreational boaters released their sewage straight into the sea according to a study conducted by the Brahea Center of the University of Turku and the Keep the Archipelago Tidy in 2016. The most frequently cited reasons were the lack of sewage pumpout stations and their poor usability. Increasing the amount of sewage pumpout stations for will contribute to preventing eutrophication of the Baltic Sea and also improve the level of service in the archipelago’s ports, thus also having a positive impact on island tourism.

Achievements of the project

BATSECO-BOAT project improved the capacity and service level of sewage collecting in small boat ports in Estonian coast and in Finnish and Swedish archipelagos. The main achievement of the project was the acquisition of 11 new sewage pumpout stations, two in Norrtälje, Sweden, five in the Archipelago Sea, and four in the northern coastal area of Estonia. In addition, nine older Septikon sewage pumpout stations were refurbished in Finland and are expected to remain in service for another decade. In total, 20 different sites were upgraded to receive sewage, which was two more than originally planned.

In addition to these concrete investments, the project also provided useful new information on issues such as the routes of recreational boats in the archipelago, the chemical composition of the sewage collected from recreational boats, and practical advice for those planning similar investments.

All reports published by the project are available at the official website of BATSECO-BOAT(siirryt toiseen palveluun).

Partners and funding

The project was led by the Brahe Center of the University of Turku and partners included Keep the Archipelago Tidy Association in Finland, Ecoloop AB, Campus Roslagen and the municipality of Norrtälje in Sweden, Brändö Municipality in Åland, and Keep the Estonian Sea Tidy and the municipality of Viimsi in Estonia. The Swedish Transport Agency is included as an associated partner.

BATSECO-BOAT was funded by the European Union Interreg Central Baltic program and the total budget of the project was 1,48 million euros and it ran from 2017 to 2021.

BLASTIC (2016–2018)

The BLASTIC project monitored and mapped sources and pathways of marine litter in four areas – Turku in Finland, Södertälje in Sweden, Tallinn in Estonia and Liepaja in Latvia – to demonstrate how plastic waste finds its way from urban areas into the Baltic Sea. Less marine plastic litter means less leakage of hazardous substances and toxins into the aquatic environment. The project ran from 2016 to 2018.


In the Central Baltic region, marine litter consists mainly of plastic and packaging material. The BLASTIC project demonstrates how plastic waste in urban areas finds its ways to the Baltic Sea and becomes marine litter. Land-based sources count for over 80 % of the marine litter, while rivers are major pathways feeding the sea with litter.

Achievements of the project

The BLASTIC project carried out different mapping and monitoring exercises in 42 municipalities in the four participating countries, using the tools developed under the project, to compile guidelines and identify sources and pathways to be prioritised. The project compiled a list of litter sources and pathways with recommendations for municipalities on how to prevent littering.

BLASTIC developed new methodology and approaches to map sources, impacts and pathways of marine litter. Mapping approaches were combined with monitoring methods to produce the ‘BLASTIC riverine plastic litter monitoring method’ guidelines. Additionally, BLASTIC also produced a list that identifies and prioritises measures to reduce litter streams from land to sea. The list helps municipalities to create local marine litter action plans.

The guidelines and the list are accompanied by a socioeconomic report that looks at the impact of marine litter. The project tested its methodology in pilot areas, where concrete plastic marine litter was removed. In Finland, the city of Turku was one of the pilot areas. The pilot along with the created materials served the general aim to increase knowledge and awareness about plastic, micro plastics and hazardous substances among different target groups. As part of this, a knowledge bank was setup.

Partners and funding

The lead partner of BLASTIC project was the association Håll Sverige Rent in Sweden. Project partners were Keep the Archipelago Tidy, Finnish Environment Institute and the city of Turku in Finland, Stockholm Environment Institute and IVL Svenska Miljöinstitutet in Sweden, Tallin Centre and the city of Tallin in Estonia, and Foundation for Environmental Education in Latvia.

Total investment for the project BLASTIC was € 1 016 555, with the EU’s European Regional Development Fund contributing € 784 522 through the Interreg V-A – Finland-Estonia-Latvia-Sweden (Central Baltic) Operational Programme for the 2014-2020 programming period.

CHANGE (2015–2017)

The CHANGE project aimed to reduce the use of toxic antifouling paints in the Baltic Sea. Boating is an important leisure activity for many people, and there are an estimated three million boats in the home harbours of the Baltic Sea coastal areas. The Baltic Sea has a low water turnover rate, so antifouling and other harmful substances cause damage to its fragile ecosystem.

Background and achievements

The multidisciplinary CHANGE project aimed to reduce the use of antifouling paints on boats in the Baltic Sea through new practices. The project involved a wide range of experts from the fields of natural sciences, economics and environmental law.

The project tested mechanical methods of bottom cleaning in cooperation with boat owners, boating associations and organizations, and public authorities. The aim was to replace harmful substances with environmentally friendly methods and to provide recommendations on alternative methods of bottom cleaning suitable for different boating areas.

The CHANGE project produced the following publications (in Finnish):

Partners and funding

The CHANGE project involved researchers from Sweden, Finland, Denmark and Germany. The project was funded by the Joint Baltic Sea Research Programme BONUS and ran from 2015 to 2017.

Keep the Archipelago Clean was a subcontractor for some parts of the project and provided data to Stockholm University.

COMPLETE (2017–2021)

COMPLETE addressed two major sources of harmful organisms introduction by shipping: ballast water and ship hulls. The project works towards minimizing the introduction of harmful aquatic organisms and pathogens by developing a consistent and adaptive management system for the Baltic Sea region. Keep the Archipelago Tidy was involved in the project as the expert on the environmental impacts of recreational boating.


Maritime traffic is very intensive in the Baltic Sea area. Thousands of ships and leisure boats travel the Baltic Sea at all times. Such a busy traffic presents a high risk of transporting aquatic organisms from one port to another, which has an impact on local Baltic Sea ecosystems.

In small vessels, the boat hull and smaller details may serve as a perfect landing ground for several species. Leisure boats in particular have a different traffic pattern, compared to that of commercial ships, since leisure vessels may visit remote and natural locations all over the Baltic Sea region. Sailing- and motorboats from across the coastline may come together at various marinas, serving as possible hot spots for invasive species and secondary spreading of unwanted aquatic species.

Achievements of the project

Keep the Archipelago Tidy led the assessment of biofouling for leisure boats, which included developing a sampling protocol for leisure boats and creating recommendations for mitigating risks related to biofouling of leisure boats.

As a part of the project, Keep the Archipelago Tidy compiled a publication that provides biofouling management recommendations for recreational boaters to help minimize the risk of transferring non-indigenous species from biofouling as well as niche areas in the Baltic Sea. The guide aims to share information of such practices that reduce the biofouling on recreational vessels and boat trailers which contributes to reducing the potential of NIS
spreading in new habitats.

Partners and funding

The project COMPLETE was funded by the Interreg Baltic Sea Region program with a total budget of € 3.2 million. The project ran between 2017 and 2021. The extension of the project, COMPLETE PLUS, started on April 2021 and ended on December 2021. More information about the project can be found at www.balticcomplete.com(avautuu uuteen ikkunaan, siirryt toiseen palveluun).

MARLIN (2011–2013)

During 2011–2013, Keep the Archipelago Tidy participated in a Baltic marine litter project titled MARLIN – Litter Monitoring and Raising Awareness. The aim of Baltic Marine Litter Project MARLIN was to increase the knowledge of marine litter in the Baltic Sea by introducing a harmonised monitoring method in combination with opinion building activities to raise awareness of marine litter among the public and policy makers. The aim with MARLIN is to present a broad picture of the marine litter situation in the central parts of the Baltic Sea Region. MARLIN was run from 2011 to 2013. The monitoring method is still used in national monitoring of beach litter.


Each year millions of tons of waste are dumped into the world’s oceans, yet beach litter is believed to count for only 15% of the total amount of marine litter. Slowly but surely the seas are turning into underwater landfills. The root cause of the increased amounts of debris in our oceans is directly related to our modern lifestyle, consumption and production patterns, as well as attitudes and behaviors concerning waste, recycling and littering. Marine litter is an emerging environmental threat to our seas. But in the Baltic Sea marine litter has not been considered a major problem. At the same time the amounts, trends and composition of marine litter has been unknown.

Achievements of the project

The main outcomes of MARLIN is the implementation of a monitoring method based on UNEP monitoring guidelines adapted for the Baltic Sea; a structure that involves local stakeholders in the actual monitoring; and an open database and quality control. The project developed a methodology for beach litter monitoring based on UNEP recommendations in order to make the data internationally comparable. By monitoring litter on the shores, valuable information on amounts, trends and possible sources can be gained in a cost effective way.

For the very first time a comprehensive and comparable picture of litter in the Baltic Sea was presented. 23 reference beaches in Sweden, Finland, Estonia and Latvia were identified and monitored during two years (138 assessments). The amounts of litter range from 75,5 items/100 m at rural beaches to 236,6 items/100 m at urban beaches.

In MARLIN, each country selected different types of beaches for monitoring. Litter was collected from the same area three times a year, at different times of the year. The litter collected was counted and classified according to the original product’s intended use and its material. In 2012, seven beaches were included in the Finnish monitoring. The monitoring was carried out on a voluntary basis.

Partners and funding

The MARLIN project ran from 2011 to 2013. The lead partner was the association Keep Sweden Tidy. Other partners were Keep the Archipelago Tidy from Finland, Keep Estonia Sea Tidy, and FEE Latvia. The project was funded from EU’s Interreg IVA Central Baltic -program with a total funding of approximately € 780 000.

Encyclopaedia ‘Roskapostia’ (2017)

Information on litter in the Baltic Sea has been relatively scarce and fragmented. Keep the Archipelago Tidy participated in compiling an informative encyclopaedia ‘Roskapostia’ on the subject, a work that is both scientifically and visually interesting. The authors of the book are Hanna Haaksi and Jenny Gustafsson from Pidä Saaristo Siistinä ry and special researchers Outi Setälä and Maiju Lehtiniemi from the Finnish Environment Institute (Syke).

Written by experts on marine litter in the Baltic Sea and the Finnish maritime area, Roskapostia is a citizen’s guide to marine litter which provides the reader with an up-to-date information package on the state of littering and the special features of the Baltic Sea’s fragile ecosystem. The book describes the harmful effects of littering from the perspective of both marine life and citizens, and provides tools to improve the situation.

The encyclopaedia was funded with €20 000 from Ålandsbanken’s Baltic Sea project(siirryt toiseen palveluun). Ålandsbanken’s Baltic Sea project aims to encourage action to improve the state of the Baltic Sea by providing funding for Baltic Sea protection projects.

Tankkivahti (2015–2016)

Tankkivahti detector will tell you when the sewage pumpout station is full, improving the usability of the boat’s septic tank, saving euros and the environment.


The release of sewage into waterways has been prohibited by law in Finland since 2005. Hence, recreational boats must be equipped with septic tanks, which are emptied at sewage pumpout stations. In the Finnish Archipelago, these sewage pumpout stations (Septikon) are owned and operated by Keep the Archipelago Tidy.

The project tested Enovo Oy’s remote monitoring system for the filling of waste tanks at the Keep the Archipelago Tidy’s sewage pumpout stations at Helsingholm and Jurmö. The aim was to avoid the need for the association’s service vessel to drive to the station to visually check its level, and to prevent boaters from going to the floating sewage pumpout station to empty their septic tanks if the station is already full.


In 2016, the project carried out a study to assess whether it is economically viable to install a monitoring system at all Keep the Archipelago Tidy’s floating sewage pumpout stations. The results showed that it is not economically viable to install a remote monitoring system at all of them, but that it is definitely worthwhile at some stations.

The project also included a survey of boaters on their experiences and attitudes towards floating sewage pumpout stations. The results of the survey were published as a report.

Partners and funding

The project started on 1.1.2015 and ended on 31.12.2016. The project partners were the Keep the Archipelago Tidy and the innovation and business development group of the Brahea Centre of the University of Turku. The total budget of the project was approximately € 65 000, of which 80% was funded by the Finnish Ministry of the Environment.

Project ‘Telakka’ (2008–2010)

Necessary maintenance work on boats, such as bottom washing, painting and other repairs, docking and winter storage, cause damage on the environment. The Keep the Archipelago Tidy’s project ‘Telakka’ developed more environmentally friendly practices together with marinas and boaters.


Discussions with marinas have highlighted the lack of clear guidance on where and how to service, dock and store boats in the most environmentally friendly way possible. The legislation on this subject is complex and sometimes unfamiliar to marina and dock operators. Some municipalities have developed clearer guidelines, but in most cases information is difficult to obtain. The end result is often” business as usual”, even if there is both interest and desire for more environmentally friendly practices.

The aim of the project was to increase the ability and motivation of marina and dock owners to work in a way that minimizes the environmental impact of boat maintenance and docking. Often, more environmentally friendly practices can also mean financial savings. The project also improved their ability to prepare for possible new regulations and challenges. An environmentally friendly marina is also expected to attract boaters who appreciate taking environmental aspects into consideration.

Achievements of the project

The project reseached boat bottom primers and alternatives to toxic paints. The aim was to develop clearly defined and easy-to-implement guidelines for docks:

  1. Toxic paints and cleaning boat bottoms

    An alternative to toxic paints is to wash the bottom of the boat a few times during the boating season. The key issues are legislation, current practice, emissions and how best to implement the washing facilities for the boater and the environment. There is equipment for washing the bottom of boats, the idea being to wash the bottom 2-3 times a summer, especially in late summer when bay barnacle attach. The device is in the water and there is no need to lift the boat for cleaning. The wash takes about 10 minutes. To use the machine, the bottom of the boat must be free of any toxic paints.
  2. Boat maintenance, painting, repair and winter storage

    It is crucial to educate boaters on how to carry out the most common maintenance, painting and repair work on their boats so that harmful substances such as paint dust, oil and coolants do not enter the water and soil.

Partners and funding

The project was implemented in the coastal municipalities of Southwest Finland. The project was funded by the Regional Development Fund of the Regional Council of Southwest Finland and was implemented between 2008 and 2010.

Other finished projects:

Contact us

Project manager

Jutta Vuolamo

040 458 9156 jutta.vuolamo@pssry.fi

Marine biologist

Program manager

Julia Jännäri

040 455 7251 julia.jannari@pssry.fi

Clean Beach program

Project coordinator

Niklas Niemi

040 458 9495 niklas.niemi@pssry.fi

Marine biologist

Clean Beach coordinator

Ellen Rancken

040 128 6512 ellen.rancken@pssry.fi

District coordinator

Veli-Matti Hartikainen

045 7734 7989 veli-matti.hartikainen@pssry.fi

Projects in Päijänne and Saimaa Rokansaari