Focus on the Danish marine environment 

We wish to contribute to a sustainable balance between the use and the protection of the sea.

We welcome ideas - feel free to contact us
Therefore we challenge different types of organisations and stakeholders to enter into a cooperation or partnerships to implement innovative environment projects, which will enhance the sustainable state of the Danish sea. We are curious and open to new ideas. Find our contact information below.

The true state of the marine environment
In Denmark, the sea is always nearby, as you are allways less than 52 kilometers from the nearest coast. The coastline spans more than 7000 km, making it one of the longest coastlines in Europe. The sea is frequently used for kayaking and other recreational activities and Denmark has a strong commercial marine industry.

However only few Danes are aware of what is happening below sea level.

According to the report ’Status og muligheder for det danske hav’ (in Danish) 95% of the Danish coastal waters do not meet the objective of good environment state. This is among other things because the marine resources are not always used in a sustainable way. Moreover, the sea is affected by polution from other countries, climate changes and invasive species that challenge the existing ecosystems.

We wish to support projects that will contribute to a Danish marine environment in balance where the resources are used sustainably. A Danish sea with a healthy ecosystem that concurrently represents a diverse base for revenue and experiences.

What do we support?

We prioritise innovative projects with a positive environment effect, that bring knowledge and stakeholders together, e.g. by:

• raising awareness of the Danish sea
• providing strategic analysis across the interests of various stakeholders
• initiating specific demonstration and pilot projects
• focusing on the market and commercial structures that affect the Danish marine environment
• focusing on externalities and pricing

Who can apply?

We support innovative, long-term and scalable projects - like the partnership between multiple stakeholders - that will help make Denmark a more sustainable country.

 The report 'Status og muligheder for det danske hav'  (in Danish)

Projects, we have supported:

'A sea of opportunities'

Plastic waste in the sea is a growing problem for animals, ecosystems, tourism and business, and it is necessary to stop the unsustainable situation that plastic waste currently ends up in the marine environment.

In December 2015, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS granted DKK 8.9m to the project 'A sea of opportunities'. Through unconventional partnerships, new business models, green technology development, behaviour modification as well as dissemination activities, the project will investigate and reduce plastic pollution in the ocean. The project is spearheaded by Plastic Change, the Danish Ecological Council and the Danish Plastics Federation.

Plastic Change

Read more about the project here

Restoration of five boulder reefs in Als

Rocks and reef structures on the seabed are vital habitats for many animals and plants. During the past century, large rocks from the seabed have been collected for use in e.g. harbour buildings and piers. Today, only 5% of the rocks and reef structures are left on the seabed, as compared to the situation 200 years ago.In December 2015, the Danish association 'Als Stenrev' was granted DKK 10.4m from THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS to the project 'Restoration of five boulder reefs'.

The association 'Als Stenrev' will conduct the restoration of five boulder reefs in the waters around the island of Als as well as establish a shallow reef at Sønderborg Beach. The shallow reef can be accessed by people of all ages without diving experience.

Read more about the project here.

'Low impact fish - from sea to plate'

It is crucial that fishing is done with respect for nature, fishermen and consumers.In December 2015, WWF Denmark was granted DKK 7.7m to the project ‘Low impact fish – from sea to plate’. The project is a unique partnership led by WWF Denmark and includes the Danish Association for Low Impact Coastal Fishing (FSK) and 'Fiskerikajen'. 

The partnership will work for a better distribution system and will strive to ensure that the coastal fishermen receive a better price for their catches. Further, the partnership will aim at improving FSK’s political influence. 

Read more about the project


The small coastal fishing communities are under pressure. There is a need to develop and demonstrate how they can thrive as communities through a sustainable use of the naturally rich waters of the Skagerrak.

In December 2015, 'Han Herred Havbåde' was granted DKK 8m to the project 'Jammerbugt in balance' from THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS.

The project will help coordinate the value chain from the building of new fishing boats, to landing, processing, labelling, distributing and selling fish to the consumers' dinner tables. 

Read more about the project 'Jammerbugt in balance' here.


A Baltic Sea expedition will make it possible to collect documentation about the status of the marine environment which can be used to develop proposals regarding new marine protected areas.

In 2012, Oceana was granted DKK 5.9m to the project 'Baltic Sea Recovery Programme', which included an expedition in the Baltic Sea and the Kattegat in the summer of 2012. 

Read more about Oceana's work.

Article: new sustainable agricultural models for Denmark's future

If you have any questions, project ideas or want to discuss new initiatives regarding the Danish marine enviroment, please feel free to contact us:

Helene Bjerre-Nielsen
Senior Adviser, Head of programme, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+ 45 51 77 94 55
Mikkel Klougart
+ 45 23 28 36 74
Conni E. Cederholm
Project Coordinator, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 23 82 75 62