Olga Senova, "Friends of the Baltic" NGO Council chairwoman
Tel/fax +7 812 4280658
Galina Kulikova, project leader, "Friends of the Baltic" NGO Council member
Phone/Fax: +7 (812) 422-9932
HISTORY OF THE PROJECT
The River Watch is one of the Coalition Clean Baltic (CCB) priority activities, which was started in 1995 and was supported by many member-organizations from different countries of the Baltic Sea Region.
"Friends of the Baltic" has been working for RIVER WATCH project since 1998 The network of teachers and youth leaders was established. They are working with students and school children in the basins of the small rivers on the South and North shores of the Gulf of Finland. In the various years the coordinators of the River Watch project in the Gulf of Finland region were Olga Senova, Vera Ovcharenko, Galina Kulikova.
THE MAIN GOAL OF THE PROJECT:
- to promote the development of Sustainable River Basin Management Plans including environmental education, school projects, public awareness, with a catchment's approach and with involvement of decision makers, authorities, environmental NGOs, students, media, anglers clubs etc. at the local level in all countries of the Baltic Sea Region.
GOAL: Saving rivers and coastal ecosystem, water and marsh lands in the Gulf of Finland Basin and development of the regional, interregional and international co-operation in the field of small rivers protection.
OBJECTIVES OF THE PROJECT:
- to carry out public environmental monitoring of the small river;
- to collect information about the rivers environment;
- to organize meetings, round tables, seminars, conferences for the participants of the River Watch project;
- to organize nature protection actions with involving public, schoolchildren, local environmental groups and local authorities;
- to influence on the local authorities for the including river-protection measures into the Local Strategy Plans for Sustainable Development, LA 21;
- to involve new participants into the River Watch activities;
- to exchange experience and information with River Watch networks of another Baltic countries;
- to spread information about the river environment and our activities in the muss-media.
GEOGRAPHICAL AREA OF THE PROJECT
Members of River Watch network make monitoring of small rivers Karasta, Lebjazya, Gluhovka, Kovash, Strelka, Voronka, Slavyanka, Popovka, Vybja, Tyzva, Gostilitsy and Kipen springs, Kipen lake, Ropsha ponds on the South shore of the Gulf, river Sestra and brooks of Berezovy Island on North shore of the Gulf and some rivers and channels in Saint-Petersburg.
PARTICIPANTS OF THE PROJECT
Some tens teachers and about 300 schoolchildren from Saint-Petersburg and Leningrad region are directly involved into the project. The project actions and campaigns are reached more than 1500 people.
- Youth Environmental Club "Domovijonok", Russko-Vysotskaia school, Lomonosov district;
- Youth Environmental Tourist Center, Lomonosov;
- Children Environmental center, Sosnovy Bor;
- Environmental Club "Ecos", Lebyazhe school,
- Environmental section of the Center of Youth Creativity, Pavlovsk;
- House for Children Creativity and Ermilovskaia secondary school, Primorsk, Vyborgski district;
- Environmental Center on "Voznesenskiy Bridge";
- Ecological Laboratory "Åfa", Department of Biology, St.-Petersburg Palace of Youth Creativity;
- Municipal Council of Lomonosov town;
- Committee for Strategy planning of Lomonosov district administration.
- Youth expeditions, environmental camps, investigations, monitoring of brooks, small rivers and coasts of the Gulf of Finland (during warm season spring-summer-autumn);
- Annual Regional Methodical seminars for teachers and local leaders of the River Watch network, (Lomonosov, December-February);
- Annual local public actions "Help Our River" held by River Watch activists in the basins of rivers of Leningrad oblast and in St.-Petersburg, April-May, September-October;
- Annual Youth regional environmental Conference "Eco-monitoring of the small rivers and shores of the Gulf of Finland", Lomonosov, September;
- Annual Youth bike expedition and course of public actions along rivers and coasts of the Gulf of Finland, June-July;
- Round Tables for River Watch coordinators and teachers on the exchanging information and methodical experience, collecting information materials for publications (on the base of Public Center for Environmental information, St.-Petersburg, during the year).
- The fourth edition of the book "Our Habitat Values - Gulf of Finland region", which includes information and methodical materials, articles of specialists about environmental peculiarity of the region and teacher's materials about small river basins and Nature Values, protected by youth groups (140 pages).
- Video "From Coast to Coast" was produced by Youth Environmental Press Center with participation of River Watch activists and members. In this video were used video materials about youth summer cams and expeditions in the basins small rivers and youth environmental co-operation in the Baltic Sea region (14 min.);
- The project results were published in the local newspapers of the Lomonosv town, Lomonosvski district of Leningrad oblast ("Raionny vestnik" and "Baltijskiy Luch"), Magazine "Eco-Chronicle", Web-site www.baltchild.org.ru; showed on St.Petersburg radio-program "City Outskirts", on Lomonosov cable TV channel; Radio of Russia (program "Environmental Cafe"), Radio "Liberty Life".
- An article "River Watch Network on the Gulf of Finland Shores" in the CCB Newsletter N 2, 2003.
The project results have shown high importance of youth environmental activities in the small river's basins for attracting people attention to the necessity to protect rivers and Gulf. Experience exchange and common actions of the network activists strengthen the NGO and local groups.
This project will be followed by involving new members into the regional River Watch network, fostering the environmental thinking of residents on the rivers coasts, cooperation with local authorities on the river's basin management, father cooperation with River Watch networks of another Baltic countries.