The most important sea for Tove Jansson is now also the most polluted – The #OURSEA campaign, part 1

The year 2020 marked 75 years since Tove Jansson wrote her first story about the Moomins, "The Moomins and the Great Flood". To celebrate the anniversary, Moomin Characters Ltd together with its partners launched a campaign to help the Baltic Sea.

“He came to the edge of the water and stood watching the breakers. There was the sea – his sea – going past, wave after wave, foaming recklessly, raging furiously, but, somehow, tranquil at the same time. All Moominpappa’s thoughts and speculations vanished. He felt completely alive from the tips of his ears to the tip of his tail. This was a moment to live to the full.”

From the book “Moominpappa at Sea” by Tove Jansson, 1965


#OURSEA campaign Moomin


“Tove lived by the sea all her life, and wrote about it with great love”, Sophia Jansson, Tove Jansson’s niece and Creative Director of Moomin Characters, begins.

“In the book Moominpappa at Sea, for example, the sea with all its different faces, from sunny and calm to raging and stormy, is one of the main focuses of the story”, she explains.

“It is a force of nature that is on a par with any of the main characters in importance. Tove did not just admire the sea, she loved it.”

#OURSEA campaign Moomin


“In Tove’s stories the endlessly changing nature of the sea becomes a metaphor for the uncertainty of what is to come, the fact that anything can happen and that the future is unknown – which Tove saw as something positive.”

“In essence, Tove described the sea as something to be respected – and loved. Without it we wouldn’t even exist. The sea was one of the most important sources of inspiration for Tove.”

The source of Moomin inspiration in danger

Tove Jansson lived by the Baltic Sea – both in her hometown Helsinki as well as in Pellinge archipelago which served as her summer home. For her, the Baltic Sea was a home and a source of safety, adventure, and inspiration. She created the Moomin stories inspired by the beauty and power of the sea, and she headed to the sea, to her own little island of Klovharun, when she needed space, freedom and creativity. Her love for the sea can easily be seen in the Moomin stories in the countless, precise and expressive descriptions of the sea, in the amount of time the Moomins spend by and at the sea and in the meaning and significance it is given.

After her passing the Baltic Sea has become one of the most polluted seas in the world.

The most significant environmental problem affecting the Baltic Sea is eutrophication. It is caused by the excessive phosphorus and nitrogen loads that end up in the sea mostly via urban waste waters and rainwater from forests and fields, and to some extent from traffic. Eutrophication is also one of the main threats to the biodiversity of the Baltic Sea: nutrient over-enrichment causes elevated levels of algal and plant growth, increased turbidity, oxygen depletion, changes in species composition and blooms of algae. What’s more, climate change further accelerates eutrophication in the Baltic Sea.

The Moomin community to the rescue of the polluted sea

2020 marked the 75-year anniversary of Tove Jansson publishing her first Moomin novel. To celebrate the anniversary Moomin Characters Ltd is launching the one and a half year long #OURSEA campaign in collaboration with the John Nurminen Foundation. The goal is to collect one million euros for John Nurminen Foundation’s work to save the Baltic Sea and its cultural heritage for future generations.


John Nurminen Foundation is a private Finnish Foundation founded in 1992, whose mission is to save the Baltic Sea and its heritage for future generations. As a result of the foundation’s projects, the eutrophying phosphorus load to the Baltic Sea has been reduced by thousands of tonnes, significantly reducing the amount of blue-green algae in the sea.

For every 10€ donated 40 kg of green-blue algae can be removed from the Baltic Sea. To take part in the campaign you can make a direct donation via, buy a campaign product, learn more about the sea, the challenges is faces and solutions needed to help improve the situation, as well as influence your friends, family, colleagues and politicians to take action.

Follow’s official social media channels to keep up with the campaign and to find out more!




Images: (c) Moomin Characters