Researchers from the University of Turku participate in the “CBSmallPorts - Energetic small ports in Central Baltic region” project which focuses on creating more climate-friendly ports and making investments in them.
The challenges and restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting the everyday lives of people and especially traveling during holidays and leisure time, have created increasing demand for local and regional tourism. This is especially true for recreational boating in the central Baltic Sea region, where numerous small ports are already welcoming visitors. Within this frame, the improvements done in the small ports of the Central Baltic project CBSmallPorts play an even more important role.
Environment-friendly tourism in small ports
The CBSmallPorts project aims at supporting the sustainable development of small ports in the Central Baltic region with environment-friendly activities and investments. Enhancing the energy efficiency of the ports – both the energy supply and the usage by boaters and other small port users – has a central role.
The project is part of a broader effort in which around 150 small ports have received EU funding for improving their services and infrastructure. Among them, CBSmallPorts is currently working on the enhancement of small ports in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and Latvia.
New services in Finnish small ports are already in use
– In Finland, the past spring has been very busy for the small ports that are part of CBSmallPorts, tells the Project Leader Minna Keinänen-Toivola from Satakunta University of Applied Sciences.
The University of Turku participated in the project by renovating two saunas on the island of Seili (Pargas). The newly renovated saunas are ready to welcome visitors who would like to spend time by the Archipelago Sea.
– We are very happy with the results, and the renovation was finished just in time for the boat season. We upgraded the heaters and installed under-floor heating in the sauna by the sea which significantly extends its usage. We believe that Seili will be an even more popular attraction among boat-owners, says Project Expert Veijo Pönni from the University of Turku.
While sailing in the area, not far from Seili, visitors of the Airisto Marina (Stormälö, Pargas) small port will be arriving to some brand-new jetties, which have just been delivered and installed. In addition, the planned solar power plant is on its way. In the Gulf of Finland, the small port of Sapokka (Kotka) has also just introduced new jetties, which will soon include service posts with light, water and electricity, and will be complemented by a solar power plant, scheduled to be installed in July 2021. In Tervasaari (Hamina), new piers are now available with new LED light lampposts that will be installed in July at the latest. Finally, in Keihässalmi (Pyhtää) the construction for transferring the air cables underwater is still under process, but will hopefully start soon during the next couple of weeks.
Sailing FUGA: a partnership for more energy efficient small ports
Not only are these new services available, but they were also tested. During the summer 2021 CBSmallPorts has happily engaged in a partnership with the Sailing FUGA expedition. The crew of the Sailing FUGA has undertaken a voyage as CBSmallPorts ambassadors.
– Our aim has been to raise awareness concerning the Baltic Sea and to show that a more energy efficient way of sailing is possible, tells S/Y Fuga’s Captain Pellervo Kunnaala.
With several devices to improve the energy efficiency of their ship, Sailing FUGA left from Rauma at the beginning of May and sailed south towards Pargas and Kotka, before travelling over the Finnish Gulf through Estonia, Latvia, Denmark, Bläse Kalkbruk (Gotland) and Åland – even though some of the ongoing restrictions did not allow a visit in the small ports of some of these countries.
In addition to their visit and promotion of the new services in the small ports, Sailing FUGA delivered an invitation on behalf of CBSmallPorts to take part in a survey concerning the energy efficiency of the small ports. A second journey will start in August and a more detailed schedule will be available during the summer.
CB845 CBSmallPorts - Energetic small ports in Central Baltic region - is funded by the Interreg Central Baltic Programme. Within the project, altogether ten partners from four countries, led by the University of Applied Sciences, will work together for energetic small ports in the Baltic Sea region from 1 March 2020 to 30 November 2022. Other Finnish partners are the University of Turku, the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences and Airiston Matkailukeskus Ltd. Partners work with energy efficiency, green investments and marketing tasks. Finnish Sailing and Boating Federation is an associated partner.
> More information about the Sailing FUGA expedition (in Finnish)
Project Expert Veijo Pönni
Brahea Centre, University of Turku
tel. +358 50 542 6747