BalticAPP is set to collect information about the environmental state of the Baltic Sea

An upcoming mobile app will give the general public vital information about the state of the environment in the Baltic Sea. Thanks to this app, anyone will be in a position to assess the state of the environment at a given location. The three-year BONUS project BalticAPP has the task of developing the tool.

Tourism around the Baltic Sea is highly dependent on the future state of the marine environment. One new way of communicating information on the state of the Baltic Sea is via the mobile app that the BalticAPP project is set to develop.

“In the project we shall look at which indicators are most interesting and then, with our models applied to the Baltic Sea, work out how these indicators will appear in future. This may relate to the state of algae blooms or how the ice situation in the Baltic Sea will develop in future,” says Markus Meier, researcher in oceanography at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI).

Everyone can contribute their own evaluation

This new app will also enable the general public to make their own evaluations of the environment; one example is whether algae affect the possibility of swimming in a certain place.

Under the terms of this project, a group of social science and economic researchers will be looking at the effects on society of a future change in the environment, so-called socioeconomic impacts.

Tourism depends on a clean environment

“This is of great interest to the entire tourist industry since a good environment is necessary to attract tourists. We’re hoping that we can contribute to making this information easily accessible and also that the public get involved and make their own evaluations,” says Markus Meier.

The project BalticAPP (Wellbeing from the Baltic Sea – applications combining natural science and economics) is funded by the BONUS programme and runs for three years. It is coordinated by Helsinki University and SMHI is participating in the project together with researchers from Finland, Denmark, Germany, Poland and Sweden. The Swedish Research Council Formas is the Swedish co-financier of the project.

BONUS funds research and development in the Baltic Sea during the period 2010-2017. The programme is intended to bring together researchers from the marine, maritime and socioeconomic sectors in order to ensure a strong, scientific knowledge base in response to the many challenges that the Baltic Sea region now faces.