We improve the state of fresh waters and take care of the biodiversity, cultural heritage and sustainable use of water environments in Finland



About us

Finnish Freshwater Foundation works to improve the state of Finnish fresh waters -  lakes, rivers and small waters. Our mission includes safeguarding the cultural heritage and saving our clean waters for the future generations. We operate closely with the environmental administration, NGO’s, private bodies and the public to share knowledge and best practices about water ecosystems and their management.

We take part in international co-​operation with all the major participants in our field. An important part of our mission is to inform media and decision makers about the importance of waters and their conservation. 

Our work is based on national and international project funding and private donations.


Finnish water panel

Finnish Freshwater Foundation is a founder and administrator of the Finnish Water Panel, a co-​operational group bringing together the leading water experts from different sectors and organizations in Finland. 

The panel aims to increase the amount of water related topics and issues in the Finnish public discussion, decision-​making and society as a whole. 


Conservation, restoration and sustainable management of our waters

Finland is known as the land of thousands lakes. In general our waters are perceived healthy and clean. However, healthy status of freshwaters cannot be taken for granted. Lakes, rivers and small waters require constant and continuous work and sustainable choices.

Eutrophication is still a major problem for lakes and their ecosystems. Majority of Finnish rivers are dammed, which changes the natural hydro-​morphology, habitats and migration of river fauna and flora. In most vulnerable and threatened state are small streamwaters and springs.

Sustainable management of waters

In many cases decreasing status of a watershed is a result of poor management of the surrounding land areas.

Conservation of watersheds

The state of Finnish waters is declining. Nearly half of the freshwater habitats are endangered or near threatened.

Restoration of watercourses

Ecological restoration of watercourses is an important way to improve the status and habitats of lakes, rivers and small waters degraded by human actions.

Communication and co-operation

Finding new methods and solutions, enchancing know-​how and doing wide co-​operation will be needed to improve the state of freshwaters.


Ambassadors of healthy waters

Our team has a long experience in watercourse restoration in the Finnish environmental administration. We also have a strong background in environmental research, stakeholder participation, communication, event management and international environmental co-operation.

Heli Heinonen

Liisa Hämäläinen
Content Manager, MSc

Auri Sarvilinna
Founder and Chairman, PhD

Karoliina Vilander

Project leader, expert on service design and collaborative design, MA (Art and Design)

Anna-​Erika Nurmi

Communications Assistant

Advisory board

The advisory board supports our work with knowledge

Lea Kauppi
Senior Specialist, Finnish Environment Institute (SYKE)

Janne Kotiaho
Professor of Ecology, University of Jyväskylä

Sirpa Pietikäinen
Finnish Member of the European Parliament

Jukka Koski-​Vähälä
Managing Director, The Water Protection Association of Savo-Karjala

Petteri Kolinen
CEO, Design Forum Finland