1st Annual Meeting
We were delighted to welcome our partners to the city of Hull, UK, for our 1st Annual Meeting on 25-26 September 2017. This two-day meeting provided an opportunity for all partners to be brought up-to-date on what has been happening since our Kick-off Meeting held in Amsterdam in January.
On Day 1, partners received an overview of the project's progress and presentations on the reporting process, financial management and communications. On Day 2, our Work Package Leads and PhD students talked about their work on the project and their achievements to date. Work Package Leads also led discussions about what partners could expect in the year to come. In addition, partners received an update on another Interreg NSRP project, Nuredrain, which has links to Sullied Sediments.
A summary of the proceedings of our annual meeting will be available in the first edition of our newsletter. If you would like to subscribe to our newsletter, please visit our News page.
Many of the inland waterways in the European Union are under threat due to the introduction of Watch List chemicals that are not currently regulated under the European Water Framework Directive. These chemicals include the so-called “gender benders” such as estradiol and the contraceptive pill, and other pharmaceutical drugs such as triclosan and diclofenac, which have been shown to be harmful to wildlife. These chemicals are introduced to our waterways as a result of our day-to-day activities and through industry. Regardless of the source, they accumulate in the sediments in our rivers and canals.
Water regulators and managing authorities do not always know the levels, the locations or the impacts of these pollutants. Nor do they have the tools to assess sediments confidently and make decisions with regard to managing them. An interdisciplinary partnership of scientific experts, regulators and water managers led by the University of Hull (UK) will develop and test new tools to better assess, treat and prevent contamination from these chemicals. This work will be carried out at nine sites, all of which have a history of sediment problems, in the North Sea Region’s Elbe, Humber and Scheldt river catchments.
The aim of the ‘Sullied Sediments’ project is therefore to enable regulators and water managers to make better decisions with regard to sediment management, removal and disposal, thereby reducing economic costs and the impact of these pollutants on the environment.
The partnership will also endeavour to reduce the amount of chemicals entering the water system by raising awareness about what we, as consumers, are releasing into the environment through the use of common drugs and household products. Part of this includes the involvement of volunteers in a sediment sampling initiative across the region, which will inform and empower these citizens as water stewards and champions.
‘Sullied Sediments’ has been has been co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Interreg VB North Sea Region Programme with a grant of 2.043.413 € with equivalent match funding from the partners involved. The project partnership includes public, private and third sector organisations based in the United Kingdom, Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands.