Marine Environment Protection
SAARI project produces information on underwater conditions in Gullkrona
The project maps water quality in the Gullkrona marine protected area (MPA). Measuring the water quality provides information on the conditions that shape the underwater biodiversity in the area. This information helps in assessing the effectiveness of protection.
2023 – 2024
Persons in charge
Matias Scheinin, Anna Klemelä
Pro Litore ry, BSAG
Regional Council of Southwest Finland
Measuring the water quality in the Baltic Sea helps in monitoring the MPA’s effectiveness
SAARI is a joint project between Pro Litore ry and BSAG. It maps the water quality in the Gullkrona marine protected area. The area was protected in the October of 2022 as part of BSAG’s The Living Baltic Sea project. The goal of the protection is to safeguard the area’s biodiversity.
Species’ wellbeing is influenced by different conditions, such as the water’s salinity, turbidity and nutrient content. These vary both naturally and through indirect human pressures, such as nutrient loads from land. The measurements produced in SAARI project will help to form a general view of these conditions, which will be taken into consideration when assessing the effectiveness of protection.
In the archipelago both the environment type and water quality can have large local variations. Comprehensive mapping offers an important insight into the protected area’s underwater world, where the species live.
The project measures water quality from approximately 3000 measuring points during the spring, summer and fall of 2023 and 2024. Pro Litore ry will carry this out with the Coastrider method, which measures the water quality using an automatic, moving measuring system. This eliminates the need to take samples or otherwise disturb the area’s nature.
It is important to assess the effectiveness of protection in all protected areas. This is a difficult task especially at sea, as water and for example nutrients move around regardless of the protected area’s borders. Changes in the sea’s condition also become apparent very slowly. Through the SAARI project we are able to start evaluating the effectiveness of protection measures from the beginning. This also creates a strong basis for monitoring the protection in the future.Matias Scheinin, Pro Litore ry