October 9, 2004 Inter-regional AnnualYouth Conference "Environmental monitoring of small rivers and Gulf of Finland shores" took place in Lomonosov. This conference was held by Children of the Baltic NGO in cooperation with Lomonosov Youth Environmental Tourism Center with the support of Coalition Clean Baltic and Lomonosov Municipal Council.
Conference gathered teachers and students from St.Petersburg, Lomonosov, Annino, Russko-Vysotskoye, Kipen, Pavlovsk, Pesochnoe, Sestroretsk, Primorsk, Lodeynoye Pole and other sites of Leningrad oblast.
Students reported results of their summer expeditions, camps and long-term monitoring of rivers, Gulf coast and nature objects in the river basins.
They spoke about small rivers: Karasta, Kikenka, Strelka, Slavyanka, Kipen springs and lake on the South shore of the Gulf of Finland; Izhora, Moika, Mga, Tosno, Thcernaya, Murincskij brook (Neva river basin); Segezha, Pel'chuzhnaia, Gumbarka - small rivers of Nizhne-Svirskiy reservу (Ladoga lake basin).
The most typical problems, discovered by young environmentalists were: private building and industrial construction on the river banks and coastal zone, pollutions from the collective farms, illegal gardening and parking on the banks, damp sites and so on.
All reporters showed ways, which they used to improve situation: they wrote letters about got cases to authorities, made cleaning-up and other public actions to attract attention of residents and authorities to rivers and Gulf protection. But some students concluded their reports with pessimistic sentence "We afraid, that we can't change anything, because we see very often indifference of residents and local authorities to environmental problems".
In some places local authorities supports youth environmental monitoring, in others - don't want to see environmental problems at all. Both positive and negative experience gave students understanding, that they should learn more methods and tools for environmental protection work.
At the conference the main idea sounded: Joining we became stronger. Mission of Children of the Baltic River Watch network is to learn from each other and support each other for better environment.