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Anniversary Youth Conference "Environmental monitoring of small rivers and the coast of the Gulf of Finland” took place on October 16 in Lomonosov

About 70 activists from different school environmental clubs and study groups assembled in Lomonosov to share results of their observations and environmental actions in the framework of the international program “Coalition Clean Baltic "River Watch". The conference was held by organization “Friends of the Baltic” and the Center of Children technical creativity in Petrodvorets district with the support of Lomonosov municipal district.

"Meeting with the idols of youth" (the people whose experience is of interest to young environmentalists) was organized as a part of the conference. Guests of the conference were Greenpeace volunteers. They told about the international Greenpeace, about their actions to protect Lake Baikal, the research of pollution of waters in Neva river, about a program to promote eco-labeling of genetically modified foods.

Schoolchildren presented the results of their environmental studies.
Tatyana Fedorova and Victor Shebyakin from school №397 shared the results of studies of smelt in the Gulf of Finland. They found a lot of lead in the liver of smelt. The concentration of lead was up to 2-2,5 times higher than the MPC in some instances.

Yuri Nazarov from school №430 in Lomonosov spoke about the trials of ichthyofauna of the river Karasta, coastal part of the Gulf of Finland and Shepelevskoe lake. Bream, perch, roach, perch, ruff are usual in our waters. But river Karasta is overgrown and this prevents the movement of fish. The author’s catch was very small in the Gulf of Finland. It can be attributed to pollution, especially in coastal areas, poor conditions for small aquatic creatures, which are the food for fish. And the water in Shepelevskoe lake is the cleanest and there is no barriers to fish there. The catch was the biggest there.

Young environmentalists from schools №389 and 395 represented a lot of data on Petersburg rivers flowing into the Gulf of Finland from the south - Dudergofka, Ekateringofka, Krasnenkoe, Novaya. All of them flow through urban areas, industrial zones, garages, so a lot of contaminants fall in these rivers. Thermal pollution caused by thermal power plants (TPP 14 and TPP 15are working in this area) seriously alter the ecological state of the rivers. Ducks feel well that the river does not freeze in the winter, but increased temperature contributes to excessive growth of aquatic vegetation, worsening conditions for the fish. Pupils found a large quantity of heavy metals in the waters of Ekateringofka. And it the concentration of heavy metals grow every year. The MPC is exceeded for total hardness. Schoolchildren found the sewer, from which the sewage flowed directly into a river.

A large number of nitrogen compounds from waste water from the fields, untreated wastewater in rural homes and cottages, fall into Dudergofka, which originates from springs on Izhorskiy plateau in the countryside. School research of Izhorskiy plateau testify to this.

Murinsky stream flowing in the northern part of St. Petersburg is experiencing a serious human-induced pressures. Water of Murinsky stream are polluted not only by chemicals but also by a variety of household trash up to car tires. There are not fenced construction site and open manholes in the park. These dangerous objects are places for kids games. All these facts were revealed by schoolchildren from school №137. Pupils prepared a letter about this to the district administration.

According to the testimony of students, St. Petersburg rivers Okkervil, Kuzminka. Chukhonka, Slavyanka and Ohta are very heavily polluted. Nitrogen compounds, heavy metals, chlorine compounds and oil pollution are often found in the water.

Against this backdrop, the state of rivers in the vicinity of St. Petersburg and in the Leningrad region is still not too bad. The schoolchildren from Lodejnoe Pole Children's Centre said that, 22 fish species and rare algae are usual in the Gulf Lakhta on Svir river. But even there pollutants from an old treatment plant from a diary factory fall into the water.

Schoolchildren from Peterhof investigated the state of water on the northern coast of the Gulf of Finland near the village Molodezhnoe, where they found an increased content of phosphorus. Most phosphorus enters the water from detergents. The pupils carried out the analysis and recommend to their friends and parents to use detergents with low phosphorus content.

Recreational pressure on the ecosystem of the projected regional integrated reserve “Orekhovsky” and children's health camp “Molodezhnoe” was the object of observations of young researchers from Petrodvorets district of St. Petersburg. Changes in the landscape in places such as city buildings, along roads, in places with intense recreational load (campgrounds, trails, beaches) were noted. Ground layer plants are killed by heavy recreational load, the soil is compacted and its quality deteriorates.

Schoolchildren also participated in the international educational project “The Human and the Sea”, came out in the Gulf of Finland on the research catamaran “Centaurus”. Project participants found that even in the Vyborg Bay, far from the city, the number of zoobenthos reduces. So the food for the fish becomes less and the whole ecosystem is changing.

Young environmentalists conducted environmental assessment of roadside in St. Petersburg highway in Petrodvorets district. They found that about a third of the drainage grooves in the road are non-flowing, dry trees are often found in areas of water stagnation in the grooves and the adjacent territory. Salt from the anti-icing mixtures accumulates in stagnant ditches on the north side of the road at the park Alexandria, and this can lead to drying of tree branches.

Schoolchildren suppose that all perpetrators of pollution should pay fines, and those funds must be used to protect and clean water.

And it is important to explain people how their wrong actions harm the rivers and the sea, despoil the nature, destroy the places where we both like to relax, swim, fish. This is exactly what young environmentalists, members of school environmental groups, clubs, participants of the program “River Watch”, organization “Friends of the Baltic” and International Coalition Clean Baltic and their partners from other environmental organizations do.

For further information please contact:

Kulikova Galina Nikolaevna, the coordinator of “River Watch” program
Kulikova-lomonosov@yandex.ru, +7 812 4229875

Senova Olga Nikolaevna, “Friends of the Baltic” NGO Council chairwoman
Olga-senova@yandex.ru, +7 921 9117986

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