The Baltic region essentially comprises the Baltic Sea and the countries adjoining or contiguous to the sea. Baltic Sea lies in Northern Europe with Sweden, Finland, Russia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Germany, Norway, and Denmark having or sharing a coastline with the water-body. Lithuania, Latvia, and Estonia are known as the Baltic countries and the cities of St. Petersburg, Helsinki, and Tallinn are situated on the sea. Two of the cities, Tallinn and Helsinki are capitals of Estonia and Finland respectively while St. Petersburg is the second largest metropolis of Russia. Adam, a reporter from Bremen in Germany was the first to christen the water-body as Baltic Sea (Mare Balticum).
The sea stretching longitudinally from 10˚E to 30˚E and latitudinally from 53˚N to 66˚N drains into the Atlantic Ocean. Baltic Sea comprising the Gulf of Bothnia, Gulf of Finland, Bothnia Bay, the Gulf of Riga, and the Gdansk Bay is approximately 1,600km in length with an average width of 193km and is about 55 meters deep. The Baltic flows through the Straits of Denmark and into the Atlantic in a somewhat complicated manner as the normal water circulation or movement is anticlockwise. The flow is northwards on the eastern flank and southwards on the western boundary.
This cross-flow (of water) results in the sea carrying vast amounts of freshwater. Water from over 250 streams that comprise the large tributaries of Neva, Vistula, Daugava, Neman, and the Oder, flow into the sea. The salinity of the sea is significantly low-between 1.0%-1.5% which is much less compared to ocean (that has a salinity of about 3.5%). The gradient of brackishness is balanced by a grade of temperature variation that facilitates in the thriving of numerous species of flora and fauna as well as distinct maritime environments in a very narrow area of the sea.