How can natural and cultural values be a resource for sustainable development? That is the question the Nordic Blue Parks project has tried to answer by providing case-studies of regional and local success stories, thereby assessing the possible synergistic effects of cross-sectoral working with both nature- and cultural heritage bodies. Nordic Blue Parks is a new concept that combines underwater nature and cultural trails in four Nordic countries, i.e. Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark.The Nordic Blue Parks project has created an international forum to foster ties not only between the various groups working regionally on this project, but also to engender links between the general public and their own cultural and natural resources. Through this project both natural and cultural administrations from several Nordic countries have for the first time cooperated concerning the underwater environment. The Nordic Blue Parks project ably integrates components of sustainable development and provides new economic possibilities to develop local natural tourism, international cooperation, education and research, as well as cultural identity.