In 2015, Skansen and BalticSea2020 Foundation started a collaboration to improve the ability for the Baltic Sea to become a viable sea in the future. The collaboration led to the idea of a knowledge center with interactive exhibitions, an opportunity to look under the water's surface in the form of gigantic aquariums and inspiring training facilities with a lab. Construction started in 2016 and now the grand opening will take place in a matter of weeks. April 11 is the official opening by Crown Princess Victoria and on April 12 the gates will open to the public.

The Baltic Sea is a unique inland sea. The mix of fresh and salt waters creates an environment that is not found anywhere else in the world. Fresh water from streams is mixed with salt water from the Atlantic and the balance is the prerequisite for a number of plants and animals. The Baltic is also the local environment for more than 90 million people. Over time, problems with eutrophication, overfishing and environmental toxins have become increasingly serious, and information, political decisions and collaboration are needed to reverse the development.

The Baltic Sea Science Center at Skansen, together with a number of initiatives, brings one of those collaborations to the public. The activities of the center are designed in consultation with a knowledge council of representatives from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Stockholm University and the BalticSea2020 foundation. Their aim is to create a world-class pedagogical center, give visitors insight into how the Baltic Sea looks below the surface and into what we can do about the problems that exist.

Linda Kumblad, researcher at the Baltic Sea Science Center, has been a member of the Knowledge Council throughout the project. This is where the center's activities and content have been developed with the help of Baltic Sea experts in several areas.

“It has been enormously exciting work," says Kumblad. "How do you explain in an engaging way how the Baltic Sea works? And how do you introduce the problems that exist in such a way that you make people want to act? This was a unique opportunity to in a fun way increase the knowledge of our beautiful and important inland Baltic Sea for all the visitors who come to Skansen.”

The Knowledge Council will work to continuously offer new and exciting research. “There are great opportunities here to hold open lectures, do temporary exhibitions and, not least, to reach all the young students who will be able to come on class visits to learn more,” Kumblad says.

For more info, see www.skansen.se/en/östersjön-på-skansen