Tove Jansson’s love of the sea has spawned more than 1 million euros to save the Baltic Sea

On Tove Jansson's birthday on August 9, we honour Tove Jansson and Finnish art. This year we have a million reasons to celebrate! Moomin Characters' and John Nurminen Foundation's campaign #OURSEA, which began on January 1st, 2020 and went on until July 31st, 2021, has collected donations of more than 1 million euros to protect the Baltic Sea. A huge thank you to all Moomin fans out there who helped us reach this goal!

Tove Jansson spent her summers in the archipelago throughout her whole life, the latter part at Klovharun island in the Baltic Sea. The influence of the sea can be seen in her art from the start of her artistic endeavours.

Tove Jansson Baltic Sea

 

 

 

The year 2020 was the 75th anniversary of the publication of The Moomins and the Great Flood, the first-ever published Moomin story, and to honour this occasion and celebrate Tove’s love for the sea, the #OURSEA campaign was launched.

”We are immensely happy about the support and the engagement of so many people in the #OURSEA campaign; children and adults, small organizations and big companies have participated. The Baltic Sea was a big source of inspiration for my aunt Tove Jansson and it warms the heart to see the enthusiastic engagement in the campaign, especially during these unusual times”, says Sophia Jansson, creative director at Moomin Characters.

OURSEA campaign 2020

More than 150 companies and other organizations have participated in the #OURSEA campaign; everything from cultural institutions and cities to schools and charity organizations around the Baltic Sea and further away.

”That so many have participated in the campaign and that the goal of collecting 1 million euros in donations was exceeded, shows that the Baltic Sea is important to an enormous group of people. All the donations, big and small, have amounted to a sum that is instrumental to our work of fighting the many challenges that threaten the Baltic Sea; the eutrophication, the decrease of biological diversity and the mainstreaming of the culture”, says Annamari Arrakoski-Engardt, CEO of John Nurminen Foundation.

The fight against the algae blooms

The blue-green algae blooms that show up towards the end of the summer in the Baltic Sea is a given topic of conversation for everyone that comes into contact with the sea, a visual proof that the Baltic Sea is not well. The blue-green algae are caused by the excessive phosphorus and nitrogen loads in the sea from the use of manure in farming around the Baltic Sea. With the help of donations to the #OURSEA campaign, the John Nurminen Foundation has started a project to recycle manure and explore what else can be done to prevent the eutrophication of the Baltic Sea.

#oursea scouts

One of the goals of the campaign was also to encourage children and young people to protect the Baltic Sea. As part of this, 6000 scouts have actively taken part in the campaign by amongst other things learn to recognize blue-green algae blooms and organizing an exhibition to spread knowledge about the Baltic Sea. Otava Learning also got engaged and donated a Save the Baltic Sea educational package to the schools in Finland. The package was put together by a group of experts and with the help of it, children and young people can learn more about the Baltic Sea and be engaged in helping to protect it.

A heritage worth saving

Apart from the environmental challenges facing the Baltic Sea, the campaign also involved saving the diversity of the culture around the Baltic Sea, the sea that Tove Jansson loved and was inspired by in her art. With the proceeds from the #OURSEA campaign, the John Nurminen Foundation supports exhibitions, events and podcasts about the culture and its rich heritage around the Baltic Sea.

Join us in celebrating the Baltic Sea Day

The #OURSEA campaign culminates in the Baltic Sea Day on August 26th. In Helsinki, the day starts with an opening event hosted by Baba Lycbeck at Espan lava. The event can be followed live or virtually. Amongst the program of the event, a panel discussion on how companies can help the Baltic Sea is held. Roleff Kråkström, CEO of Moomin Characters, will participate in this panel. The whole programme of the opening of the Baltic Sea Day can be found here.