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Visit an outhouse!

Over last decades The Baltic Sea has suffered from eutrophication. There are too many nutrients, such as phosphorus and nitrogen, in the sea. On land these nutrients are needed for example to cultivate food plants, but in water these nutrients cause eutrophication, blue-green algae blooms and smelly sea bottom.

One cause of eutrophication is the wastewater from our toilets. In modern water closets urine and excrement is blended with water which makes removing all the nutrients very hard for even the best of wastewater treatment plants. After the treatment when wastewater is released to the sea, it still contains some nutrients.

This is why an outhouse is such a great invention! When everything that is produced during a year is composted carefully, all the nutrients remain on land. Nowadays different kinds of dry toilets can be installed indoors and even on boats.

A typical toilet solution on boats is a septic tank, where urine and excrement are flushed with water. These tanks must be emptied to bigger tanks, which can be found on many guest harbours. Wastewater must not be released to the sea and it’s better not to pee in the sea while swimming either.  Nutrients cause a lot of harm in the water, but on dry land they are much needed. Therefore, visiting an outhouse is an act that benefits environment and our fish friends thank you for it!

Assignment:

Scrape filamentous algae from rocks on the shoreline with, for example, a brush or a wad of hay. Bring the algae on land to moulder. By doing so you remove nutrients from the Baltic Sea and clean the rocks so that is easier for other species, such as bladder wrack, to settle on the stones.

Did you know, that the amount of pee one person produces in one day is enough to produce one kilogram of filamentous algae? Filamentous algae cover rocks and stones and smother the vital habitats of our seas, such as bladder wrack growths and sea wrack meadows.

Can you find some animal that lives under water?