European rivers are in a dire state. Some of them are dying right in front of our eyes!
The environmental catastrophe on the second biggest river in Poland, the Oder River, caused a mass fish die-off in August 2022. The dumping of waste and the summer heat resulted in the multiplying of so-called gold algae which are deadly for fish and harmful for humans.
This is not the only recent tragedy for European rivers. In 2022 the Sajó, which runs from Slovakia to Hungary, turned completely red due to heavy pollution from mine drainage water. 2.4 tons of polluted water flowed into the river every day. A high content of iron and zinc exposed wildlife and fish to slow painful death.
The Sajó and the Oder are not isolated cases. A report by the European Environment Agency shows that only 44% of our surface waters are in good condition. Mining, industrial agriculture and other economic activities are killing our rivers – a high price to pay for short-term financial profits. Extreme temperatures caused by climate change make these ecosystems more vulnerable. This results in environmental catastrophes like the ones we saw last year. Human activity is causing this destruction.
It’s high time for the European Union to take a strong stance and protect our waters – before it is too late.
Therefore, we call on the European Commission to ban dumping of wastewater and industrial discharges into European rivers, now!
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