Sea and archipelago
Espoo is a coastal city with 158 km2 sea area, 58 km coastline and 165 islands. The shore varies from smooth cliffs to rocky shores and a few beaches. Flood meadows, flood plain forests and shallow bays support the richest aquatic wildlife.
In flood plain forests, water level rises on a regular basis, completely covering the ground cover, tree roots and the base of the trunks. Shallow bays, on the other hand, are slowly filled with reeds and other vegetation. Seaside meadows and natural beaches are rare and protected under the Nature Conservation Decree. In addition, there are several rocky islets off Espoo protected for the duration of seabirds' breeding and nesting season. If you are lucky, you may see the Grey seal, or even the Baltic ringed seal, resting on one of them.
Inlets in Espoo are important spawning and fry production areas for a number of fish species. The Pikeperch, the Perch, the Smelt and their fry favour the more sheltered areas in Espoonlahti, whereas the Trout, the Flatfish and other more aquatic species populate the southern parts of the bay. Shallow-water species – cyprinids, the Pike and the Perch – thrive best in the coves of the bay.
The beautiful archipelago is easy to explore on your own or, in summer, on board of an archipelago boat.
The Baltic Sea Challenge – commitment to water protection
Like the rest of the Baltic Sea, marine areas is Espoo suffer from eutrophication. The more visible signs of eutrophication include blue algae blooms, water clouding and slime build-up. Espoo has actively protected the Baltic Sea since 2008 by participating in the Baltic Sea Challenge together with Turku and Helsinki.