The Baltic Sea has always connected the people around it, thus coastal culture and maritime heritage show important similarities essential to the understanding of our common identity and history.
The coastal culture is however threatened, not only by the crisis in the traditional coastal industries, but also by the pressure of recreational activity. The coastal areas are probably the most rapidly changing environments today, but it still seems to be a neglected topic, both in national preservation policies and in national and international coastal and sectional policies.
The members of the WG finds it essential that coastal culture will be made more visible, and that it is further protected and developed in all of its diversity by identifying and describing the common assets, problems and potential.
The WG also stresses the importance of the long term heritage protection and of strategic co-operation between authorities and others in order to facilitate a sustainable use of the region, including a diversified economy and partly traditional trades.
Another important field is documentation and information on the cultural values in the coastal regions in order to promote development and increase understanding and awareness of its importance. This work can also generate economic contributions through cultural tourism and foster a responsible approach to development and necessary changes.
The three main aims of the group within the framework of the new MG strategy are as follows
- Describing challenges and opportunities within the field of coastal culture and maritime heritage
- Reporting on the status of ongoing activities in each country
- Suggesting, promoting and initiating projects and actions for co-operation