This Baltic Sea Action Plan contains the actions of the City of Espoo to protect the Baltic Sea during the Baltic Sea Challenge action plan period 2019–2023.

The Baltic Sea Challenge(external link) is an international network focused on water protection open to all actors, which started in 2007 at the initiative of the cities of Turku and Helsinki. The operators of the Baltic Sea Challenge network are committed to implementing concrete water protection measures voluntarily, exceeding the provisions of the law and the requirements of their own core activities.

Espoo took on the Baltic Sea Challenge in 2007, and in 2008 the City Board approved Espoo’s first Baltic Sea action plan. The next operating period started in 2014, and at the start of the new period the action plan was updated.

During the first two operating periods, good results have been achieved, but improving the condition of the Baltic Sea will continue to require measures. The third operating period of the Baltic Sea Challenge is about to start, covering the years 2019–2023. With its new Baltic Sea Action Plan, the City of Espoo commits to continue working for the benefit of the Baltic Sea.

The Baltic Sea Action Plan was updated at the Espoo Environment Department as a project work at the end of 2018. More than 30 city experts from various industries participated in the planning of the measures. The work was supervised by a steering group consisting of experts from the Environment and Building Control Department. The Espoo City Council approved the action program on March 4, 2019.

The Baltic Sea Action Plan complements Espoo’s water protection action programme for the years 2016–2021 (Nuotio 2017) with regard to the protection of marine areas. In addition, the Baltic Sea Challenge supports the goals of the City of Espoo’s stormwater program (2011), construction site water guide (2015) and climate programme (2016).

Espoo’s Baltic Sea Action Plan is divided into five subject areas in accordance with the Baltic Sea action program of the cities of Helsinki and Turku (2019–2023). Under the subject areas, there are a total of 77 measures with which Espoo reduces especially the nutrient load, emissions of harmful substances and littering in its sea area. Espoo also commits to increasing Baltic Sea awareness and activity within the city.

The objectives of the Baltic Sea Action Plan apply to the entire City Group. The responsibility for implementing the measures has been divided between the city’s various industries. The work is coordinated by the Espoo Environment Department. The division of labour is recorded in the Baltic Sea Action Plan at a general level - a more detailed breakdown is in a separate table of division of responsibilities, which has been prepared for the use of the Espoo Baltic Sea working group.