Litter is one of the main causes of the significant decline in marine life in the Oslofjord, and it is vital that we prevent or reduce it by being more responsible for our local environment.
As an ocean technology company, Nortek’s employees are passionate about the health of our oceans and seas, and have access to the necessary resources available to support these activities.
“The cleanup will tie into Nortek’s sustainability initiatives, where our company have chosen to focus on the UN sustainability goal for Life Below Water, since the ocean is the main operating domain for Nortek instruments,” says Therese Baas, Director of Nortek’s sustainability program. “By keeping plastic, garbage and other pollutants out of our local waters and beaches, we contribute to improving the local marine ecosystem and supporting the local coastal community in Bærum.”
Cleanup volunteers on a boat in the fjord.
Teaming up with local companies and organizations
Nortek teamed up with local nonprofit organization RyddMarka, an environmental organization in Oslo that brings together the community each month to clean up different areas. Additionally, they were joined by multiple divers from Vollen Dykkeklubb, a local diver training club that often gets involved in litter-removal initiatives in the Oslo area. By joining forces, the groups were able to make a bigger impact by bringing together more people and resources to work together on the fjord cleanup.
Creating local awareness
The team chose Kadettangen in Sandvika because of its popularity as a great spot for summertime activities: beachgoers frequently enjoy swimming, sunbathing on the sandy beach, playing volleyball, paddleboarding, or jumping off the diving tower on the dock.
“We chose this area because it was most likely to be polluted due to its popularity,” says Enrika Ramonaite, Nortek’s Digital Marketing Manager and organizer of the cleanup. “We also wanted to create awareness to show beachgoers how much litter lingers under the water. One of our main goals was to remove any dangerous objects from swimming areas.”
Shopping carts and other waste collected from the fjord.
Having a local impact
The cleanup team consisted of a beach team onshore and a team working from the Nortek boat, including nine scuba divers and two freedivers. In just three hours, the team of 44 people gathered over 1180 kg of marine waste. They pulled a variety of objects from the water near the diving tower, ranging from plastic bottles and containers to larger, sharp objects that could have potentially posed a danger to swimmers and divers.
“We hope people who witnessed this will be more mindful of disposing of their beach litter in a responsible way, so it doesn’t harm the environment or pose a risk to other beachgoers,” adds Ramonaite. Along the coastline alone, the team collected 12kg of waste, preventing it from ending up in the fjord.
Despite the serious nature of the task, the cleanup team ended the day feeling rewarded and satisfied.
“We had a great day! We couldn’t have asked for better weather to do the cleanup,” says Patrick Johansen, Production Technician at Nortek and Sunday’s boat captain. “The divers were well organized by Monica Taanevig from Oslofjorden Dykkesenter. Olaf and Jonas from the Nortek team did some heavy lifting by collecting and loading bags on and off the boat. All in all, it was very rewarding to see so many happy faces working towards a cleaner environment.”
Part of the cleanup team.
Looking forward to future cleanup efforts
Thanks to the efforts of everyone involved, the Oslofjord is one step closer to becoming healthier marine ecosystem while continuing to provide a safe and fun space for the community.
“We’d really like to express our gratitude to all the volunteers who came out and contributed to the cleanup,” says Ramonaite. “So many people dedicated their personal time to something so meaningful. Almost everyone turned up before 10 on a Sunday morning, ready to make a difference.”
Nortek plans to hold these fjord cleanups each year, targeting different areas around the Oslofjord.
Some of the marine waste the team pulled out of the fjord.