Touched to the core by the Baltic Sea

Annika Linna

My deep connection with the Baltic Sea evolved already in my childhood, when our summers consisted of boating and cottage holidays in the Kvarken Archipelago in the Gulf of Bothnia. The sun was always shining, and the glistening sea looked wonderful. I learned to swim with the help of a life jacket. The shore by the cottage was so rocky that we had to enter the water from the end of the jetty, where the water was a couple of metres deep. At first I was scared to look down; the water was so clear that one could easily see how far away the bottom was. Once I had gotten the hang of swimming, life beneath the surface began to interest me, and I enjoyed studying it with my snorkel. I was disgusted by dead fish, but since the adults seemed to think they were nothing to get upset about, we kids got used to them as well.

As a youth I lived in Oulu, where the presence of the Bothnian Sea is strong in all seasons. I have never been tempted to go boating in the ‘empty’ Bothnian Sea, with scarcely an island in sight, but have spent numerous blissfully happy summer days on its wonderful beaches in Oulu and Raahe. From the fishermen of Ii I have bought the most delicious salmon and whitefish imaginable. After reaching adulthood and moving to Helsinki, I had access to the real Baltic Sea. My first boat trip to the Sipoo Archipelago on a sunny summer day was like a dream; I could not believe Finland could be so beautiful! At this point, I had not yet visited the Turku Archipelago or Åland, which seemed decidedly exotic for someone like me who had grown up in Ostrobothnia.

Today I am also aware of the fragility of this beauty. The small dead fish were not a freak of nature, but a direct consequence of the actions of man. Last summer in Kimito Island we had to be careful when going swimming, as there were blue-green algae blooms floating in the area. A thought pattern emerged in our discussions: we would first admire the beauty of nature, but continued with expressions of our frustration and fear of what was happening to the Baltic Sea, and what caused the detested algae blooms.

I believe that even my smallest actions make a difference when we fight this fear, and that I can do my share in taking care of the Baltic Sea and ensuring the preservation of its delights also for the enjoyment of my five-year old daughter. As an Edita employee I participate in the co-operation between our company and the John Nurminen Foundation, and therefore have a prime view to the progress and impact brought about by the Foundation’s work. For Edita the choice to support the John Nurminen Foundation came naturally, as the Baltic Sea is the beloved sea of the home shores of every Finnish and Swedish Edita employee. We have been gravely concerned for its future, but at the same time we believe the sea will emerge as the winner. We want to dedicate our efforts to the promotion of this victory!

Annika Linna
Vice President, Communications