27 Helping local communities tackle global warming What will the sea look like in 2120? The Interreg Botnia-Atlantica cross-border project ECOnnect analyses howmarine nature will be affected by climate change in 100 years’ time in the central Gulf of Bothnia. – It may feel far away, but it concerns our children and grandchildren, says Johnny Berglund, member of the project team. The project’s goal is to produce a concrete and comprehensive future forecast that describes the Botnia-Atlantica region’s future marine nature, in order to improve and streamline both community planning and climate work in the region. Having good forecasts for the future is important. – If you want to take care of our sea areas, it is very important to know what the future will be like, so you can plan for the long term, says Anette Bäck, project manager and marine nature conservation specialist from Metsähallitus Parks & Wildlife Finland. Climate change affects key characteristics of the region’s sea area and lead to changes in salinity, visibility depth, ice cover, nutrient load, and sea level, which in turn affects the species and habitats found in the area. – It is getting warmer. What is special about our region is that the sea ice will be significantly smaller. We are so used to there being ice on the sea in this region, but it is not at all certain that there will be ice every ECONNECT Lead partner: Metsähallitus, Finland. Project partners: The County Administrative Board of Västernorrland, Sweden, The County Administrative Board of Västerbotten, Sweden. The Business, Transport and Environment Center in Southern Ostrobothnia, Finland. Priority area: Environment.