Training-seminar on Cooperation for Nature and Climate was held in St. Petersburg on September 19. Friends of the Baltic and Ecocentrum organized the event. Participants were teachers, activists of non-governmental organizations and partners from scientific organizations and high school.
Participants were informed about the All-Russian Festival of Energy Saving in St. Petersburg, which has been opened on September 15th. Friends of the Baltic held an interactive event and demonstrated an exhibition on energy efficiency of buildings. Olga Senova acquainted the teachers with new information about the All-Russian and regional competition of school projects on energy efficiency. Teachers received information about meetings on climate and energy saving topic, took methodological materials on climate and energy conservation, took an invitation to participate in the international contest of videos on climate and energy efficiency # domorewithless2019.
Ekaterina Uspenskaya presented the idea of creating complex documents - climate plans - that not only help to address adaptation to climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also strengthen the school's movement towards sustainable development in general.
Water quality observations and River Watch Program is one of the oldest activities of Friends of the Baltic and their partners. The participants learned on the training about the pollution of waters with nutrients. The organizers presented to participants the map of nutrient loads on water objects of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, created by environmental groups, volunteers, active citizens and organizations.
The map informs about the nitrate concentrations in rivers, springs, lakes, wells of St. Petersburg and Leningrad region, reflects the location of potential sources of nutrient pollution, and informs about points of public observations. Anna Kazina told how teachers, students, eco-activists, and interested citizens can take part in River Watch Program and join to the observations of water objects in St. Petersburg and Leningrad region.
Anna said that anyone could join to the research of nitrate concentrations in waters, using the simplest tool – express-tests. They must be stored at a temperature of 4-8 degrees. To measure the nitrates in water, volunteer need to dip it into water for 2 seconds, then put the strip on a horizontal surface, wait exactly 1 minute, compare with the color scale. The maximum concentration of nitrates in water is 45 mg/l. It is necessary to provide the exact address of the investigated water source or its location to contribute to the map.
Teachers and students who have somehow participated in River Watch Program can present their results at a scientific conference - to take part in the Interregional scientific and practical schoolchildren conference "Eco-monitoring of rivers and the coast of Gulf of Finland". The conference will be held on October 20, 2018. Anna told also that The River Festival will be held in May 2019 in Ivangorod and will be dedicated to Narva River. It’s an annual event, where school teams can learn about different aspects of rivers life (from the history of the region to the water quality) and get acquainted with participants from other parts of the city and the region.
A topic of microplastic is one of the part of water research. Microplastic is small bits of plastic (less than 5 mm in size) taken by the aquatic inhabitants for food and, thanks to their small size, pass through sewage treatment systems. The microplastic can enter the environment from cosmetic or from automobile tires. However, ordinary plastic garbage - bottles, bags, packaging - can break up into smallest pieces in the water under the influence of sunlight, microorganisms and mechanical waves.
Elizaveta Merinova spoke about the development of this issue in Russia. Now, there are few data about microplastic in waters in St. Petersburg and Leningrad Region, but the number of interested people is growing.
Several groups conducted the research on microplastic in the field season 2018: Ecocentrum and Friends of the Baltic, Institute of Lake Sciences of the Russian Academy of Sciences and other organizations. It is very important to collect data, to disseminate results and develop general conclusions. Friends of the Baltic have invited teachers and school groups to join the monitoring of microplastics in water bodies, as well as to study the sources of it. Training course on microplastic will be held on October 6, where participants will be able to test the methodology of microplastic research themselves.