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River Festival 2011 at the Karasta river

The VII traditional inter-regional action “River Festival” took place in Lomonosov town at the Karasta river 14 of May. It was organized within River Watch program of Friends of the Baltic/Coalition Clean Baltic, and public movement “River Network of North-West Russia”.

River Festival every year take place at the various rivers. Sice 2005 ir was organized by Friends of the Baltic NGO and its partners at the rivers Strelka, Kikenka, Chernaya, Slavyanka, Ivanovka and Ropsha ponds. The Festival serves for environmental education of children, and also for attracting attention of public and authorities to particular river, where it happens.
In 2011 River Festival was organized at the Karasta river and dedicated to the 300 anniversary of Lomonosov (old name Oranienbaum). 300 years ago it was a river full of life, full of fish, even salmon came to the river to spawn. Now the landscape changed substantially, Karasta river runs through the historical park, it is blocked by two dams to create ponds. Karasta now is a part of very beautiful park landscape, but it lost some part of wild life – fish and other organisms. Environmental NGOs try to prevent its further environmental degradation.

More than 130 schoolchildren coming to the Festival learned about the Karasta river, its natural peculiarities. Every team coming to the Festival presented their own river which they investigate and protect. At the Festival opening members of River Watch network brought and showed the River Belt, consisting form small pieces of fabric sewn together, where every piece present particular river. Now River belt consists of 21 pieces and every year it became two-three pieces longer.

Friends of the Baltic, Lomonosov Center for Children Technical Creativity, and their River Watch network partners from Biological institution, St.Petersburg Universities, LNGOs and schools prepared the ecological stations, where Festival participants could learn more about the Baltic Sea and its drainage area. There were stations “River Basin”, Hydro biological, Hydro chemical, Who lives in the rivers, Protect Baltic Sea from phosphates, and others.
The final event of the Festival was a cleaning-up of the river coast to attract attention of local public and authorities to the river conservation.
The local TV company has made a story about the Festival, and it was shown at top-time, when TV auditorium is about 20000 residents.
River Watch network is looking for the new river, which would like to host the Festival 2012. Join the River Festival!

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